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What is the Menthol Smoking Ban and When Was it Introduced?

October 27, 2020

So, by now you’ve probably heard about the menthol ban and changes to the cigarettes you can buy, but are you aware of the extent of the changes, or why they’re happening?

We’ve summarised all the need-to-know info here.

What is the menthol smoking ban?

On May 20th 2020, a ban on menthol cigarettes was introduced across the EU-27 and cigarettes with ‘a characterising flavour’ were taken off shops’ shelves throughout the country. This new ban means it is now illegal to manufacture and/or sell menthol cigarettes.

The new rules extend to traditional menthol cigarettes, but importantly not to alternatives such as vapes or nicotine pouches, meaning our products are still available for sale online.

Why are menthol cigarettes being banned?

The changes are part of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive, which was implemented in the UK through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. The goal of the directive is to try and reduce the number of people smoking and the government has set a target of becoming completely ‘smoke-free’ by 2030.

So far, what do people think of the ban?

In August, some research was carried out into the public’s perception of the menthol ban a few months following its introduction. A survey of 2,000 people found:

  • Awareness of the menthol cigarette ban is relatively low, with just over half of respondents being aware of it.
  • Of those who were aware, 1 in 3 learnt about the ban 2 to 3 months before it came into place, but 18% didn’t know about it until after its introduction.
  • Although 44% of respondents thought the menthol cigarette ban should have been introduced sooner, almost 4 in 5 (79%) thought the ban would not lead to any changes in their own behaviour.
  • 65% thought the ban would not change other people’s smoking or vaping habits.

zoneX nicotine pouches make the perfect alternative

Menthol cigarettes may now be banned, but our tobacco-free nicotine pouches are not.

zoneX tobacco-free pouches offer nicotine and fresh mint flavour with none of the hassle. Available in two nicotine strengths, there is no smoke, odour or vapour, so can be enjoyed whenever and wherever you want. And zoneX won’t stain your teeth!

We think zoneX makes the perfect alternative to menthol cigarettes, but don’t take our word for it.

Get your free sample and try it for yourself!


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This product may be hazardous to health and is intended for use by adult smokers and vapers. Keep out of reach of children. zoneX products contain nicotine. zoneX is not suitable for use by: persons under the age of 18; pregnant or breastfeeding women; or persons who are sensitive or allergic to nicotine. zoneX should be used with caution by persons with or at a risk of an unstable heart condition or high blood pressure. Not a smoking cessation product.