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Menthol cigarettes banned from sale from today

in mans hand

New rules take effect today (Wednesday 20 May) banning the sale of cigarettes flavoured with menthol.  

The government's outright ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes was announced four years ago to provide retailers, smokers and the industry with plenty of time to prepare. 

Our Trading Standards Officers have been working with local retailers to ensure that they are fully aware of their responsibilities under the ban and that any remaining stocks of menthol cigarettes are removed from sale. 

It's thought the removal of menthol cigarettes from shop shelves could be the trigger which stops more children starting smoking and will encourage more North East smokers to quit. 

The use of menthol cigarettes is more common among newer, younger smokers as the menthol flavouring hides the taste of the tobacco. Some younger smokers choose menthol products because they wrongly believe them to be less harmful than non-menthol cigarettes.  

Alice Wiseman, Gateshead's Director of Public Health, says: "There has never been a better time to give up smoking, and now here is another reason to do so. 

"Removing menthol cigarettes from sale will help to close off yet another dangerous gateway into tobacco addiction, especially among young people, and that will definitely save lives. 

"Giving up smoking is difficult but we're always happy to help anyone who wants to kick the habit. If you want to quit but are not sure how, call us on (0191) 433 3058 or email smokefree@gateshead.gov.uk and we'll happily give you the advice you need." 

Get help to give up smoking

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "For young people who might be experimenting with smoking, menthol can often be the first cigarette of choice. They might think that it's a less harsh option, with the menthol flavour masking the horrible experience of inhaling the smoke.  

"There is evidence too that menthol cigarettes relax the airways, making it easier to start smoking and which could ultimately result in a lifetime addiction to tobacco. 

"With menthol flavours now being removed from cigarettes, we hope that some smokers will decide that now is the time to quit altogether. And with smoking causing complications from coronavirus, there has never been a better time for smokers to quit."

Shopkeeper - and Gateshead councillor - John McClurey says: "Retailers have known for years about the new menthol rules so there is no reason why we shouldn't be well prepared.  

"It makes sense that menthol cigarettes are no longer for sale in the same way that other flavoured tobacco has been removed from the shelves.  

"These days, tobacco sales are declining as fewer people are smoking, and I often tell people I'd much rather sell birthday cards for people who are living longer than sympathy cards for people who have died as a result of their smoking." 

The legislation banning menthol cigarettes stems from the EU Tobacco Products Directive 2014 which is now part of UK law and will remain in force after the UK leaves the EU on 31 December 2020. 

Estimates suggest that globally, menthol and capsule cigarettes have about a fifth of the UK cigarette market.  

in mans hand
20 May 2020

New rules take effect today (Wednesday 20 May) banning the sale of cigarettes flavoured with menthol.  

The government's outright ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes was announced four years ago to provide retailers, smokers and the industry with plenty of time to prepare. 

Our Trading Standards Officers have been working with local retailers to ensure that they are fully aware of their responsibilities under the ban and that any remaining stocks of menthol cigarettes are removed from sale. 

It's thought the removal of menthol cigarettes from shop shelves could be the trigger which stops more children starting smoking and will encourage more North East smokers to quit. 

The use of menthol cigarettes is more common among newer, younger smokers as the menthol flavouring hides the taste of the tobacco. Some younger smokers choose menthol products because they wrongly believe them to be less harmful than non-menthol cigarettes.  

Alice Wiseman, Gateshead's Director of Public Health, says: "There has never been a better time to give up smoking, and now here is another reason to do so. 

"Removing menthol cigarettes from sale will help to close off yet another dangerous gateway into tobacco addiction, especially among young people, and that will definitely save lives. 

"Giving up smoking is difficult but we're always happy to help anyone who wants to kick the habit. If you want to quit but are not sure how, call us on (0191) 433 3058 or email smokefree@gateshead.gov.uk and we'll happily give you the advice you need." 

Get help to give up smoking

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "For young people who might be experimenting with smoking, menthol can often be the first cigarette of choice. They might think that it's a less harsh option, with the menthol flavour masking the horrible experience of inhaling the smoke.  

"There is evidence too that menthol cigarettes relax the airways, making it easier to start smoking and which could ultimately result in a lifetime addiction to tobacco. 

"With menthol flavours now being removed from cigarettes, we hope that some smokers will decide that now is the time to quit altogether. And with smoking causing complications from coronavirus, there has never been a better time for smokers to quit."

Shopkeeper - and Gateshead councillor - John McClurey says: "Retailers have known for years about the new menthol rules so there is no reason why we shouldn't be well prepared.  

"It makes sense that menthol cigarettes are no longer for sale in the same way that other flavoured tobacco has been removed from the shelves.  

"These days, tobacco sales are declining as fewer people are smoking, and I often tell people I'd much rather sell birthday cards for people who are living longer than sympathy cards for people who have died as a result of their smoking." 

The legislation banning menthol cigarettes stems from the EU Tobacco Products Directive 2014 which is now part of UK law and will remain in force after the UK leaves the EU on 31 December 2020. 

Estimates suggest that globally, menthol and capsule cigarettes have about a fifth of the UK cigarette market.  

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