New laws are set to come into effect in the new year that will see menthol cigarettes banned.
From 20 May 2020, any menthol flavoured products will be taken off the shelves in an attempt to stop young people from taking up smoking.
The ban comes from the EU Tobacco Product Directive laws, which will also see skinny cigarettes banned from UK shops.
Philip Morris, the manufacturer of cigarette brands including Marlboro, attempted to appeal the law, taking it to the European Court of Justice – but it wasn’t successful.
Anti-smoking charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says that the move will help to stop young people from taking up the habit.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, a spokesperson said: “No person may produce or supply a cigarette or hand-rolling tobacco with:
“(a) a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavorings;
“(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.”
Amanda Sandford, of ASH, told the news outlet that the new laws are an attempt to make smoking less appealing – as well as the move to only sell menthol cigarettes in packs of 20.
She said: “Cigarettes are already expensive. And the price increase of cigarettes is a key factor in making people quit smoking. So by removing the packet of 10 cigarettes this means people will have to find that extra money for a packet.
“It will hit poorer and younger smokers harder who are more likely to buy smaller packs.
“Paying £3 or £4 for a packet of 10 cigarettes at the moment might not seem so much to people and still leave them with change in their pockets.
She said: “It is naturally hard to inhale smoke and for many the first time they smoke it is repugnant, but people persevere with it and that’s when they become addicted.
“There is evidence that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour masks the harshness of the smoke, therefore younger people find it easier to smoke.
“However, it is an absolute myth that menthol cigarettes are better for you.
“All cigarettes are harmful and menthol cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal cigarettes.”