Menthol cigarettes and rollies will be banned later this year in an attempt to stop young people smoking.

Smokers will no longer be able to buy cigarettes and rolling tobacco with any "characterising flavours" after May 20. The ban, under the new EU Tobacco Product Directive laws, also covers skinny cigarettes and click dual cigarettes - such as Sterling Dual - that change from normal to menthol.

It is part of a four-year phasing-out period which began in 2016. And Brexit is unlikely to affect the ban, Action on Smoking and Health charity said.

Harrow Times:

The ban is under the new EU Tobacco Product Directive laws. Photo: Pixabay

The new rules mean no one can manufacture or sell a cigarette or hand rolling tobacco with:

  • a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavourings;
  • a filter, paper or capsule containing tobacco or nicotine; or
  • a technical feature allowing the consumer to modify the smell, taste, or smoke intensity of the product.

Cancer Research UK says two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Amanda Sandford, from Action on Smoking and Health said young people find it easier to smoke menthol cigarettes because they relax the airways and mask the harshness of the smoke.

Harrow Times:

Smokers will no longer be able to buy menthol cigarettes and rollies. Photo: Pixabay

She added it is a myth that menthol cigarettes are less harmful than normal ones.

In 2017, 10 packs of cigarettes and smaller packs of rolling tobacco were banned - forcing smokers to pay more larger packs of cigarettes or tobacco.

And tobacco products are already hidden under the counter and stripped of branding.