Posted on: 26 February 2020

Making preparations in your store

At the start of the year, we shared with you some of the new laws that were coming in 2020, however, one more to add to the list is a new law to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and tobacco in the UK, starting this year.

Carry on reading to find out about the ban and why the law is being introduced.

What is changing?

As of 20th May 2020, UK retailers will have to abide by the EU Tobacco Product Directive, which the UK will abide by during the Brexit transition period ending on 31st December 2020, but will also continue to observe following the end of the transition period.

Menthol tobacco products have previously faced restrictions, with packets of menthol cigarettes only allowed to have 20 cigarettes per pack, but the new rules will ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and tobacco products outright. The law will also ban the sale of ‘skinny’ cigarettes and flavoured rolling papers.

The new law states that menthol tobacco products, including menthol rolling tobacco, menthol cigarettes and click dual cigarettes will all be banned to deter young people from starting smoking. Menthols are being specifically targeted because it is believed that young people find menthol tobacco more appealing because of the flavour and the way that it masks harsh smoke.

Why is the law coming in?

It is believed that most smokers started before the age of 18, so to deter young people from taking up smoking, the EU has introduced this new directive.

Even though this is an EU directive, the ban is expected to last post-Brexit, as part of the UK government’s pledge to be smoke-free by 2030.

Before the smoke-free pledge in 2030, the UK government has released the following objectives for their smoke-free generation plan in 2022:

  • Reduce the number of 15 year olds who regularly smoke from 8% to 3% or less.
  • Reduce smoking amongst adults in England from 15.5% to 12% or less.
  • Reduce the inequality gap in smoking prevalence, between those in routine manual occupations and the general population.
  • Reduce the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy from 10.7% to 6% or less.

As we have mentioned earlier, banning menthol cigarette products will hope to discourage young people taking up smoking, which contributes to the smoke-free generation plan.

Did you know?

In 2019, smoking cost the UK economy £13bn per year,
including a £3bn expense to the NHS.

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