The European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) has banned the manufacture and sale of menthol cigarettes. Despite Brexit, this ban also applies to the UK and includes capsule, click on, click & roll, crushball or dual menthol cigarettes, and excludes vaping and heated tobacco products. The measure goes into effect on the 20th of May, and anyone caught selling the menthol products across the European Union (EU) could be fined up to €1,000.
As the US remains primarily focused on banning e-cigarettes, it has ironically so far retained a relaxed stance towards the much deadlier products.
Research by TobaccoIntelligence, an independent source of expert commentary and data about the tobacco industry, has indicated that many retailers are planning to use the shelf space previously occupied by menthol cigarettes for alternatives such as vaping and heated tobacco (heat-not-burn) products.
“The opportunities to convert menthol smokers to less risky alternatives are substantial,” said TobaccoIntelligence managing news editor David Palacios. “In the UK alone, for example, it is estimated that 1.3 million people currently using menthol cigarettes will need to find an alternative product from next Wednesday.”
The US’s senseless approach
Meanwhile, as the US remains primarily focused on banning e-cigarettes, it has ironically so far retained a relaxed stance towards the much deadlier products. For example, a legislation to ban all flavoured vaping and tobacco products in Colorado has been amended to allow the sales of menthol cigarettes.
Similarly, New Jersey lawmakers have halted efforts to stop sales of menthol cigarettes, to instead focus their efforts on a bill that bans flavours in vaping products. While as Vermont lawmakers prepare to enact a ban on flavoured tobacco and vaping products, the tobacco industry is doing its utmost to block the part of the bill which would ban menthols.