The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is reminding retailers about the upcoming ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes which comes into force in next week, despite the ongoing situation with the coronavirus outbreak.

ACS advises that retailers will still be allowed to sell cigarettes described as “green” or with similar names to a previous menthol product as long as the cigarettes themselves do not contain any menthol. If there is any confusion about which cigarettes products may or may not contain menthol, retailers should ask their tobacco supplier.

It adds that retailers should bear in mind that there may be some confusion among customers if they request “green” cigarettes and expect a menthol product. To minimise this confusion, retailers can make customers aware of the menthol cigarettes ban by displaying ACS’ Assured poster or advising them verbally.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “It is disappointing that despite our urging, the government has not extended the 20 May deadline. Coronavirus restrictions mean that area managers, wholesale support teams and manufacturer representatives are not on the road and in stores helping retailers to comply, including removing product from stores.

“Retailers will have to do their best to sell through existing stock ahead of the 20 May deadline, and we have developed guidance and a poster to communicate with customers about these changes.”