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Menthol Ban

From 20th May 2020 there will be a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes.

DOWNLOAD THE MENTHOL BAN GUIDE HERE

The European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) makes it an offence for manufacturers to produce menthol cigarettes and retailers to sell menthol cigarettes from 20th May 2020.

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.

There is no sell through period which means that retailers must have sold through any remaining stock of menthol cigarettes by 20th May 2020.

The UK’s exit from the European Union does not impact the introduction of the menthol ban.

Materials

ACS has produced a poster for retailers to display in-store to help communicate the menthol ban to customers. 

DOWNLOAD THE POSTER HERE

For more information please email julie.byers@acs.org.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs have been assured by our Primary Authority partners Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards

Is it just menthol flavoured cigarettes that will be banned from 20th May?

Yes.

Is it possible to get a rebate or refund on my remaining menthol cigarette stock?

This will be a matter for your tobacco supplier to decide.

Will hand-rolling tobacco be banned?

No. Hand-rolling tobacco will not be banned from 20th May 2020. Flavoured hand-rolling tobacco however has been banned since May 2017.

Can retailers still sell menthol flavoured cigarillos?

Only flavoured cigarettes and flavoured hand-rolling tobacco is affected by the Tobacco Products Directive. Retailers can still sell other menthol products including cigarillos and menthol filters.

Can retailers sell hand-rolling tobacco which has been packaged with flavoured filters or papers?

No, it will no longer be permitted to produce or sell cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco which has been packaged with flavoured filters or papers.

Can retailers sell tobacco products, such as hand-rolling tobacco in the same transaction as flavoured filters and papers?

Yes, you will still be able to sell flavoured filters and papers in the same transaction as tobacco products. The ban refers only to flavoured cigarettes and flavoured hand-rolling tobacco products or where cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco is sold in the same package as flavoured filters and papers.

Are there any other changes to tobacco regulation on 20th May 2020?

Yes. The sell through period for track and trace ends.

Retailers must ensure that they have sold through 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. The security label looks like:

    

Cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco packets without this security label will have been produced before 20th May 2019 and cannot be sold from 20th May 2020.

Can retailers continue to sell cigarettes that are called ‘green’?

Retailers are still allowed to sell cigarettes described as ‘green’ or with similar names to a previous menthol product as long as the cigarettes themselves do not contain any menthol. If there is any confusion about which cigarettes products may or may not contain menthol, retailers should ask their tobacco supplier.

Retailers should bear in mind that there may be some confusion amongst customers if they request ‘green’ cigarettes and expect a menthol product. To minimise this confusion, retailers can make customers aware of the menthol cigarettes ban by displaying ACS’ Assured poster or highlighting to customers verbally. Once the ban is in effect, if there are any requests for ‘green’ cigarette products, retailers should clarify that the product no longer contains menthol.