Posted on: Friday 15 May 2020
From Wednesday 20th May 2020, the sale of menthol cigarettes will be banned in the UK.
The European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) makes it an offence for manufacturers to produce menthol cigarettes and for retailers to sell menthol cigarettes.
The European Union believe that a ban on flavoured tobacco will improve public health by deterring people from smoking. The ban also applies to capsule, click on, click & roll, crushball or dual menthol cigarettes. The ban does not apply to heated tobacco products or e-cigarette products
The UK’s exit from the European Union does not impact the introduction of the menthol cigarettes ban.
Retailers must have sold remaining stock of menthol cigarettes by the 20th May. If a retailer sells menthol cigarettes on or after this date they are guilty of an offence and are liable:
- On summary conviction in a magistrates’ court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or a fine, or both.
- On conviction on indictment in the Crown Court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, a fine, or both
Other changes to tobacco regulation include the sell through period for track and trace will end. The 'Track & Trace System' specifies that each retailer must have valid IDs to purchase cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products and came into force on 20 May 2019 in an attempt to stop the illegal trade in cigarettes and tobacco.
Retailers must also ensure that they have sold their stock of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products that were produced before 20th May 2019. Retailers can identify cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products which were produced on and after 20th May 2019 by looking for a security label on the left hand side of cigarette packs and the closing side of a hand-rolling tobacco pouch.