Smoke Free Partnership welcomes the entry into force of the EU-wide ban on menthol cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Brussels, 20 May 2020 -- As of today, the EU-wide ban on cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products with a characterising flavour takes full effect.

In 2014 the EU was amongst the first jurisdictions, and the largest, to adopt a ban on all characterising flavours in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, including menthol. The EU Tobacco Products Directive banned cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with a characterising flavour, but granted an exemption for products with an EU market higher than 3%, meaning that menthol products could still be sold until today.

Menthol is demonstrated to facilitate inhalation and is “more likely associated with greater addiction”, posing more risks to public health than regular, unflavoured cigarettes. Menthol use has been found significantly more common amongst newer, younger smokers, which means that this ban will contribute to better protecting younger generations.

SFP welcomes this milestone in the EU’s fight against tobacco. On a dedicated page on our website, we provide information from coalition partners, researchers, and advocates.

We congratulate the European Commission and Member States for the implementation of the menthol ban on time, despite attempts by tobacco retailers and industry representatives to obtain delays.



SFP is a partnership between the Belgian Foundation against Cancer, Cancer Research UK, the Dutch Cancer Society, the Norwegian Cancer Society, and the European Heart Network. La Ligue contre le Cancer is an Associate Partner. SFP aims to promote tobacco control advocacy and policy research at EU and national levels in collaboration with other EU health organisations and EU tobacco control networks.


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