Open pack of cigarettes. Green blur background, closeup, selective focus

Sale of Menthol Cigarettes Banned Across The European Union From May 20th

From May 20th, menthol cigarettes will be banned across the European Union, including in the Czech Republic, due to concerns over their addictiveness and appeal to young people. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Czech Rep., May 20 (BD) – From May 20th, menthol cigarettes will finally be prohibited EU-wide, as required by the European Tobacco Products Directive, which came into force on May 19th, 2004. The directive banned the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including any cigarettes with a taste or smell other than tobacco. 

Other flavoured products have already been phased out, and now a special extended transition period for menthol products is also coming to an end, meaning that menthol tobacco products will no longer be available anywhere in the EU, including duty-free outlets. The ban does not apply to flavoured e-cigarettes, the regulation of which remains a matter for EU member states.

Menthol cigarettes first appeared in the US state of Ohio in the mid-1920s, and were marketed across the United States as Spud Menthol Cooled Cigarettes, named after the inventor, Lloyd “Spud” Hughes. They entered into wider use from the 1950s onwards, spreading around the world. Menthol cigarettes have the highest market share in the Philippines, where they account for 60% of all cigarettes sold.

Despite their popularity, menthol and other flavoured cigarettes have been criticised for being more addictive than regular cigarettes, as well as having a greater appeal for children. They are now banned in several countries, including Brazil, Canada, and Turkey, as well as the European Union.

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