The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has launched guidance for retailers on the upcoming ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes which comes into force from 20th May 2020.

The European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) makes it an offence for manufacturers to produce menthol cigarettes and retailers to sell menthol cigarettes from that date.

The ban also applies to capsule, click on, click and roll, crushball or dual menthol cigarettes. The ban does not apply to heated tobacco products or e-cigarette products.

Figures from the latest ACS Voice of Local Shops survey revealed that one in four independent retailers are currently not aware of the ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes.

The guidance provides retailers with information on products included in the ban, when it will be introduced, penalties for non-compliance and how to communicate the ban with customers.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “It is vital that retailers understand what their responsibilities are in terms of implementing the ban in store, selling through existing stock and communicating the information to customers.

“The guidance is part of our assured advice scheme which gives sound advice and legal assurance to retailers who sign up to our scheme and follow it.”

There is no sell through period which means that retailers must have sold through any remaining stock of menthol cigarettes by 20 May 2020.

The UK’s exit from the European Union does not impact the introduction of the menthol ban.

The guidance is available for retailers to download.

ACS has produced a poster for retailers to display in-store to help communicate the menthol ban to customers.