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The Great Menthol Ban of 2020

On the 20th of May 2020, the sale of menthol cigarettes will be banned in the UK.

We have put together a short list of answers to your frequently asked questions about the ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes in the EU and UK.

Q: What does this mean for smokers?

A: You will not be able to buy menthol tobacco products from the 20th of May 2020. All shops have to stop selling them on this day.

Q: What happens to all of the unsold menthol cigarettes?

A: They should be destroyed by the shops, as it will be illegal to sell them. Tobacco retailers have had over three years warning about the ban, so the ban should not come as a surprise to them. (source)

Q: What exactly is banned for sale?

A: Any cigarettes with menthol taste (mint flavoured):

  • tobacco

  • filters

  • papers

  • packaging

  • capsules

  • buttons or dual buttons (source)

Q: What is not banned for sale?

A: Here is a list of menthol flavoured smoking products which are not banned.*

  • Menthol cigars or cigarillos

  • Menthol filters (for hand-rolling tobacco)

  • Flavour cards (a new product on the market)

  • Menthol e-liquid or e-cigarette products

*This information is included solely for the purpose of informing the reader what has been banned and not banned under the new legislation. It is not intended as an encouragement to switch to different tobacco products or as promotion of any kind.

Q: Why are menthol cigarettes banned?

A: The ban aims to make smoking less appealing to young people and adults. People who smoke menthol cigarettes may enjoy the 'colder', 'sweeter' and 'milder' smoke. So, by banning menthol flavourings, the EU and UK governments are hoping that this will discourage some smokers and help them to quit. (source)

Q: What does The Law say?

A: This legislation comes from the EU Tobacco Products Directive 2014. Although we are almost no longer part of the European Union, the law has been adopted by the UK so will remain in force when the UK leaves the EU on the 31st of December 2020.

Q: What other tobacco products have been banned?

A: Before May 2020 there have been some other restrictions enforced on the sale of tobacco in the EU and UK.

You can no longer buy:

  • Packs of less than 20 cigarettes

  • Packs of tobacco less than 30g

  • Flavoured tobacco or cigarettes

Q: I'm motivated to stop smoking, where can I go for help? A: If you live in Scotland, visit for information, help and advice on stopping smoking.

We hope that this has answered all the questions about 'The Great Menthol ban of 2020'. For further information on tobacco, e-cigs click the linked text. If you require any more information on anything on this post, links to further reading can be found throughout the text and also at the end of our information pages on the LANDED site.

Blog written by Robbie Stevenson, Development Officer. May 2020.



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