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UNITED KINGDOM

39 per cent unaware of menthol ban

14 May 2020. A new poll has found that almost three million smokers in the UK are unaware of the ban on menthol cigarettes which will come into effect on 20 May, reports Retail Times.

The survey, which was conducted for smokers’ group Forest, asked 2,091 smokers in the UK about the new regulations which will see all menthol cigarettes including capsules, crushballs and dual menthol cigarettes banned from 20 May. Menthol and capsule cigarettes currently make up 25 per cent of the cigarette market in the UK.

Not only were almost 40 per cent oblivious to the new rules, the poll revealed that only 16 per cent of the public believe the ban will reduce smoking rates in the UK. According to Retail Times, the survey also shows that 38 per cent of the public and 46 per cent of smokers think that the menthol ban will lead to an increase in illicit trade.

Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said: “There is going to be a huge amount of confusion when many smokers attempt to buy menthol cigarettes next week. Retailers are going to be faced with a lot of frustrated customers.” He added that, “There is no evidence that banning menthol cigarettes will reduce youth smoking rates. This is more to do with big government flexing its muscles and bullying a substantial group of consumers, many of them elderly, in the hope they will quit smoking.”