If you’re a fan of menthol cigarettes, you could be out of luck.
Next year, cigarettes with a ‘characterising flavour’ – including menthol – will be banned in the EU, meaning retailers will only be able to sell cigarettes in the standard tobacco flavour.
It’s a disappointing turn of events for those who enjoy smoking menthol cigarettes – research shows that around 8% of smokers across the EU smoke menthol brands, and they’re particularly popular in markets like Denmark, Finland, and here in the United Kingdom.
In fact, there are more than a million menthol cigarette users in the United Kingdom alone, so when they find out about the ban next year, they’ll no doubt be disappointed.
Though we can’t change the law, we can give you some tips on overcoming the menthol cigarette ban and ensuring you can continue to smoke your favourite flavoured cigarette for years to come.
Stock up before May
What’s very important to note about the upcoming menthol cigarette ban is that the law will be introduced on 20 May 2020 under the EU Tobacco Products directive.
However, following this date, retailers will have a four-year transitional period, where they can legally sell off their existing stock.
It’s unlikely that major supermarkets and convenience stores will have four years worth of stock, so stock up on your favourite cigarettes as soon as you can before they disappear for good – ask for cigarettes from your loved ones and create a stockpile.
Switch to non-flavoured
Next year, more than a million smokers will walk into their local convenience store and find that their favourite cigarettes are no longer for sale.
For many of them, it would be simply impossible to give up on smoking entirely, and so some may turn to the black market to find their favourite cigarettes.
Please don’t do this – buying cigarettes from random strangers in your neighbourhood is not only illegal, but it’s dangerous, as there’s no guarantee they’re safe.
Instead, consider switching to non-flavoured cigarettes and get used to a new taste.
Try an alternative
If the above options don’t work for you, try not to panic.
The good news is that companies such as Mentholyzer are working on menthol alternatives, offering UK smokers a safe and legal alternative to menthol cigarettes.
Though these alternatives are naturally going to be different from your usual cigarette packet, they will allow you to experience the same taste and flavour experience as smoking a standard menthol cigarette, without breaking the law.
There’s no denying that more needs to be done to promote the upcoming methol cigarette ban, but as a smoker, the sooner you know, the sooner you can be prepared.
Follow the techniques we have mentioned in today’s article and get in touch if you have any other ideas on @Fuzzable. And sound off on social media – do you think it’s right for the government to ban these cigarettes without consulting consumers? Or is it a sign of the changing times?