Shops will no longer be able to sell menthol flavoured cigarettes and other tobacco products from tomorrow, as a new ban on mentholated tobacco products comes into effect.
The ban is designed to make sure cigarettes no longer have ingredients that make cigarettes taste nicer and make it easier for people to start smoking.
The four year lead-in time for the ban was to allow smokers who smoke menthol cigarettes enough time to switch to other products.
Minister for Health Simon Harris welcomed the ban, saying that smoking is an addictive and lethal addiction.
“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,” said Minister Harris.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever to quit. On 11 May the World Health Organization 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,” he added.