Having already made headlines throughout UK media, we are sure many of you will be aware that the UK is set to impose a ban on a number of widely used tobacco products, most significantly menthol cigarettes.
News of such a big change in legislation will no doubt leave many people with questions as to how the ban will impact them and if so, what their options will be when it comes to finding a viable alternative to menthol cigarettes.
What is the UK Menthol Ban and Why is it Happening?
The new laws have been agreed in an effort to reduce the uptake of smoking in younger audiences as well as reduce its appeal overall. With the number of UK smokers reducing year-on-year, the menthol ban represents another step taken by the government towards their goal of a smoke-free United Kingdom.
Deborah Arnott, chief of the charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) insisted that banning menthol cigarettes could help prevent young people from smoking, saying: “It is naturally hard to inhale smoke and for many the first time they smoke it is repugnant, but people persevere with it and that's when they become addicted.
There is evidence that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour masks the harshness of the smoke, therefore younger people find it easier to smoke”. The ban will be in effect from the 20th May this year (2020).
What Products are Affected by the Ban?
The new restrictions will primarily outlaw the manufacture and sale of menthol and skinny cigarettes. Alongside this, the ban will also mean retailers can no longer supply cigarettes or rolling tobacco with any “characterising flavours”.
Officially, this means that following the ban, no brand or retailer is permitted to manufacture or sell a cigarette or rolling tobacco that features: a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavourings or any technical feature that allows the consumer to modify the taste, smell or smoke intensity of the product.
While the ban will have a significant impact on cigarette and rolling tobacco users, the new laws do not affect smoking alternatives like vaping, which means menthol e-liquids, as well as those in other flavours, will still be available for sale.
If I’m a vaper, Does the Ban Affect Me?
If you already vape then you don’t need to worry – the ban does not effect any vaping products, so you will still be able to buy and enjoy your favourite e-liquids and devices after May.
What Does the Ban mean for Menthol Smokers and What are Their Options?
Many current smokers will be faced with challenges following the ban, with a massive 26% of all UK smokers being menthol users. Due to the strong polarisation between menthol and non-menthol smokers, it is expected that the majority of those impacted by the ban will likely turn to alternatives to smoking rather than switch to unflavoured tobacco.
Should this be the case, then the most likely place these alternatives will be found is amongst the next generation category of products. Their ability to offer menthol flavoured nicotine products, even after the ban, will undoubtedly hold strong appeal to those seeking a like-for-like menthol alternative.
The most obvious of these alternatives is vaping, which offers potential converts a massive range of menthol flavours to choose from, in a variety of strengths. This variety presents menthol-seekers with the best chance of finding an alternative product that works for them, not just in flavour, but also in satisfying their nicotine craving.
Vaping also presents ex-smokers with unique solutions to the issues many face when trying to transition. For example, some find it hard to replace the hand to mouth action typical of smoking; while vaping in all forms satisfies this experience, some devices even look like a cigarette and are puff-activated, further enhancing the feeling of familiarity recent converts often crave.
While other options like heat-not-burn products also offer users a less harmful alternative, nothing compares to vaping when it comes to having the most choice available to those seeking a like-for-like menthol experience following the ban.
Nicotine salts are another type of e-liquid that could present those affected by the ban with another way to help ease their transition. Nicotine salts maximise craving satisfaction by using specially modified nicotine that absorbs into the system much faster, whilst being smooth on the throat. This gives you a vaping experience that is much closer to smoking a cigarette.
Combining the above factors with the convenience of being able to acquire vaping products from the same stores that many would have purchased their old menthol cigarettes further eases the transition process.
What Do EDGE Offer?
At EDGE we are prepared for the potential increase in demand for our menthol products and are working with retailers to ensure they are stocking the best products to help smokers transition following the ban. Our EDGE Very Menthol & Cherry Menthol are already top sellers that we think any menthol convert will enjoy.
Our innovative new EDGE Pro device is perfect for new starters to vaping with a mess-free, stress-free design and patented rapid release coil technology that creates an effortless vaping experience. Our hardware range also includes cartomisers, which look just like a cigarette and activate with a puff, allowing for a very realistic experience that recent converts may find comfortably familiar. The EDGE GO pod system also offers new vapers the convenience familiar with smoking by utilising disposable pods that can be interchanged and replaced in seconds as well as fit neatly in your pocket. Keep an eye out for more releases ahead of the ban – EDGE has more exciting and innovative hardware launches planned for 2020, so we are sure anyone looking for their new menthol alternative will find success by beginning their vaping journey with EDGE.
With over 5 years within the vaping industry, Ian has amassed a wealth of knowledge that is unparalleled throughout the industry. His knowledge extends beyond e-liquids and devices, but covers safety and compliance as well as best practice and more to name but a few.