The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is reminding retailers about the upcoming ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes which comes into force next month.

From May 20, it will be an offence for manufacturers to produce menthol cigarettes and retailers to sell menthol cigarettes as part of the European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU).

The ban also applies to capsule, click on, click & roll, crushball or dual menthol cigarettes. The ban does not apply to heated tobacco products or e-cigarette products. There is no sell through period, which means that retailers must have sold any remaining stock of menthol cigarettes by May 20.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “It is very disappointing that the government has not given longer for retailers to comply with these changes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. As well as operational problems with running stores, there are specific challenges with getting products out of stores when there aren’t the usual visits into stores by retailers’ and wholesalers’ support teams, and from manufacturers. We are continuing to raise retailers’ concerns with government, but we should prepare for this change to come into effect on 20th May.”

Guidance for retailers and a poster for them to display in-store to communicate the menthol ban to customers can be downloaded from the ACS website.