Sale of menthol-flavoured cigarettes banned

Menthol masks taste of tobacco
  • Deborah Condon

The sale of menthol-flavoured cigarettes and tobacco will be prohibited from Wednesday, May 20.

According to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, the purpose of this ban is to ensure that cigarettes and tobacco products that are for sale in Ireland, no longer include ingredients that make smoking more palatable, or make it easier for someone to start smoking because the taste of tobacco is masked.

"Smoking is an addictive and lethal habit. The pleasant taste of menthol masks the true taste of tobacco and might attract first-time smokers, or keep people smoking who might wish to quit," Minister Harris said.

He insisted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more important to quit the habit.

On May 11, the World Health Organization said that a review of studies by public health experts found that among people who develop COVID-19, smokers are more likely to develop a severe form of the disease than non-smokers.

The ban on the sale of these products is contained in the EU (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016 made by the Minister in 2016.

The four-year lead-in time allowed smokers that use menthol-flavoured products adequate time to switch to other products.

For more advice on quitting smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.


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