Menthol cigarettes to be banned in UK from next month

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Menthol cigarettes will be permanently banned in Britain in just over four weeks. 

From 20 May, it will be an offence to produce or sell menthol-flavoured tobacco according to the European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU).

The ban applies to capsule, click-on, click & roll, crushball and dual menthol cigarettes.

Menthol heated tobacco and e-cigarette fluid are not affected and will continue to be sold as normal.

Anti-smoking charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), explained the changes, confirming that: "No person may produce or supply a cigarette or hand rolling tobacco with:

"(a) a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavourings;
"(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."

Health experts have been lobbying for the removal of menthol cigarettes from shelves for years; with research indicating that the minty flavouring can make smoking more appealing and addictive.

Skinny cigarettes will also be banned as part of the legislative change.

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According to Cancer Research, around 15% of the UK population currently smoke.

In 2016, Britain became the second country in the world - and the first in Europe - to enforce the sale of cigarettes in plain packaging accompanied by health warnings.

10-packs of cigarettes and smaller bags of rolling tobacco were removed from shelves in May 2017.

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