Posted on Friday 15th May 2020
Staffordshire businesses and traders are getting advice ahead of a national ban on the sale of Menthol cigarettes.
The ban comes as part of an effort to deter young people from smoking and reduce the number of people taking up the habit.
The advice, from Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service is being offered ahead of the ban which comes into force on 20th May 2020.
The order, under the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive, also applies to rolling tobacco, filters, papers or dual menthol cigarettes. The ban does not apply to heated tobacco products or e-cigarette products. There is no sell through period which means that retailers must have sold through any remaining stock by 20th May 2020.
Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council has responsibility for Trading Standards at the authority.
“The banning of Menthol cigarettes follows up on a pledge the Government made back in 2016 that they would help deter young people from taking up smoking. It’s also an important milestone in the Government's drive towards a smoke-free society by 2030.
“There is evidence that menthol cigarettes can make it easier for people to smoke as they relax the airways and the menthol flavour helps to mask the harshness of the smoke. There is also some belief that menthol cigarettes are better for your health, but there is little evidence to support this and they are just as harmful as regular cigarettes.
“Over the years our Trading Standards service has been involved in a number of initiatives which has helped reduce the number of people smoking in the county.”
According to the office of national statistics smoking prevalence has fallen in the UK since 2011 to just 14.7% with the percentage for Staffordshire at 12.3%.
Under the regulations 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.
Retailers can get more information about the ban by contacting Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service on 01785 277855.