WARNINGS have been made to shopkeepers to stop selling menthol cigarettes as it will be illegal to do so starting from May 20.

The government has banned menthol cigarettes and tobacco products from being sold to reduce youth uptake of smoking and to encourage current smokers to quit.

This means any shop or store found selling minty flavoured cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco products with characterising flavours like vanilla, fruit, spice, menthol, etc. could face prosecutions and fines.

This does not affect the sale of menthol cigarette papers, cigars and cigarillos or e-liquids for vaping.

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Slough Borough Council’s trading standards team are warning shops found stocking and selling menthol tobacco products from May 20 (Wednesday) could seize the products and could result in legal action.

Cllr Pavitar K. Mann, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “The announcement that menthol products were being banned was made four years ago so this will not come as a surprise to responsible shop owners.

“Slough’s trading standards team is advising retailers, who have not already done so, to remove all menthol cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco from tomorrow.

“There maybe the temptation to sell the last few packets of leftover menthol products but any found on retail premises could be seized and it could result in legal action.”

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Research shows menthol smokers on average smoke more than those smoking a non-flavoured alternative, there is a higher level of nicotine dependence and some perceive them to be less harmful than non-menthol cigarettes.

In countries where menthol products have been banned there has been a reduction in uptake among children and young people.

Free online or telephone personal support is available on the Wellbeing Slough website and there is the addition of a stop smoking app called Quit with Bella.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the service is offering tailored support through remote consultations online or by phone.

Any retailers with any questions can contact Slough trading standards via the website www.slough.gov.uk/business/trading-standards  or call 01753 475111 and choose the regulatory services option.