New anti-smoking laws have been introduced into the UK whereby the sale of menthol cigarettes are now banned from Wednesday.
From today smokers will be able to purchase flavoured and skinny cigarettes. The EU Tobacco Product Directive laws does not ban menthol filters, but they will be illegal to buy in packaged cigarettes.
The ban will not apply to heated tobacco or e-cigarette products.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said, “Menthol cigarettes are a child-friendly starter product because menthol makes it easier to smoke and to inhale the smoke deep into the lungs.
“Menthol smokers are also more likely to become heavily addicted and find it harder to quit.
“That’s why the government concluded a ban on menthol was justified, it’s just a shame it’s taken so long.”
Simon Clark, director of smokers’ rights group Forest, said, “The ban on menthol cigarettes is a gross restriction on consumer choice that will do nothing to stop children smoking.
“Many adults have smoked menthol-flavoured cigarettes for decades.
“This week that small pleasure will be taken away from them and the only people who will benefit are the criminals who supply the black market with illegal and counterfeit goods.”