Menthol Cigarettes Will Be Banned From Next Month
Menthol cigarettes will be banned next month, under new smoking laws set to come into force on 20th May.
After this date, menthols as well as skinny cigarettes will no longer be available, in new rules introduced with the aim of stopping young people from taking up smoking.
The move is part of a four-year plan that stems from new EU Tobacco Product Directive laws, which came into force on 19th May 2014, and became applicable in European countries two years later on 20th May 2016.
Menthol cigarettes are currently only available in packs of 20, but the new laws will ban them altogether and will see the production of click dual cigarettes (which change from normal to menthol) also eradicated.
A spokesperson for anti-smoking charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) outlined the new rules and said: "No person may produce or supply a cigarette or hand rolling tobacco with:
"(a) a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavourings;
"(b) a filter, paper or capsule containing tobacco or nicotine; or
"(c) a technical feature allowing the consumer to modify the smell, taste, or smoke intensity of the product."
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Amanda Sandford, of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said that the move will hopefully make smoking less appealing, especially to young people.
According to Cancer Research UK, two thirds of smokers start smoking before the age of 18.
Amanda told the Liverpool Echo: "Cigarettes are already expensive. And the price increase of cigarettes is a key factor in making people quit smoking.
"So, by removing the packet of 10 cigarettes this means people will have to find that extra money for a packet. It will hit poorer and younger smokers harder who are more likely to buy smaller packs.
"[...] There is evidence that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour masks the harshness of the smoke, therefore younger people find it easier to smoke."
Amanda explains it is a myth that menthol cigarettes are "better for you" adding that all cigarettes are harmful.
However, while they are not proven to be any more toxic than regular cigarettes, research gathered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 found that they are more addictive and harder to quit.
Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia