Sale of menthol cigarettes to be banned from tomorrow
Ireland's ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes will come into effect tomorrow (20 May).
The ban has been coming down the line for four years, since the EU (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016.
The directive does not allow for tobacco companies to modify the flavour of their cigarettes, and will include menthol rollies.
The purpose of the ban is to ensure that cigarette and tobacco products for sale can no longer include ingredients that would make smoking more palatable or make it easier for someone to start smoking by masking the taste of tobacco.
Menthol cigarettes have seen their market share consistently grow since 2000, and accounted for 5% of all cigarettes sold in 2012.
Minister Harris said: “I welcome this ban. 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.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever to quit. On 11 May the World Health Organisation said that a review of studies by public health experts found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.
“It also warned that tobacco is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases and these conditions increase the risk of developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19. I urge everyone who is thinking about quitting to contact the HSE Quit service for support.”
According to the HSE, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland with almost 6,000 smokers dying in Ireland each year.