Department of Health written question – answered on 11th July 2016.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans to implement the ban on menthol cigarettes in the UK after 2020; and what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of that ban on the quality of life of smokers.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Legislation is in place that will make it illegal to sell menthol flavoured cigarettes and roll your own tobacco from May 2020. This legislation fulfils international obligations the United Kingdom has under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which recommend that Parties should regulate, by prohibiting or restricting, ingredients that may be used to increase palatability in tobacco products. This provision is aimed at reducing the initiation rates of tobacco use by youth. Two thirds of adult smokers took up smoking before the age of 18 and menthol in particular is associated with increased youth experimentation, take-up and dependency.

The Government has provided a four year transition period for current menthol smokers to quit smoking or switch to other brands of cigarettes or roll your own tobacco.

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