Menthol Cigarettes Ban: Why Are They Being Banned And What Are The Alternatives?

From Wednesday May 20th, the UK will take the unprecedented step to prohibit the sale of all menthol tobacco products (these include cigarettes, skinny cigarettes and rolling tobacco) under new EU smoking laws. The new legislation states no person may produce or supply a cigarette or hand rolling tobacco with:

  1. a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavourings;
  2. a filter, paper or capsule containing tobacco or nicotine; or
  3. a technical feature allowing the consumer to modify the smell, taste, or smoke intensity of the product.

The menthol ban stems from the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which was incorporated into English law in 2016 through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations. Amongst other things, one of the aims of this legislation was to eventually prohibit cigarettes with a 'characterising flavour', which comes into full effect on 20th May 2020.

A ‘characterising flavour’ means a smell or taste, other than tobacco, which is clearly noticeable before or during consumption and results from an additive or combination of additives, including menthol. This ‘characterising flavour’ is essentially deemed to make tobacco consumption more attractive and appealing towards certain social groups, with the ban expected to contribute significantly to the UK’s aim to be a smoke-free nation by 2030. Smoking has been proven to significantly increase the risk of developing serious health conditions such as lung cancer, heart disease and diabetes, whilst killing over 78,000 people every year in the UK.

In 2018, a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) highlighted that 12.4% of smokers in England indicated menthol as their predominant form of cigarette, with an added 2.2% signalling alternative flavoured cigarettes. This large section of people will no doubt find it difficult after the ban comes into place, with many expected to just swap over to standard unflavoured cigarettes which are equally as harmful. This is evidenced by 56% of menthol smokers stating that they would continue to smoke using regular cigarettes or rolling tobacco.

However, there are alternative ways for menthol lovers to get their nicotine fix without turning back to cigarettes:

What Are The Alternatives To Menthol Cigarettes?

Vaping is known as a harm reducing alternative to cigarettes, with over 3.6 million users in the UK alone. All vape kits consist of 2 mains parts; a battery unit which provides the power, and a tank or pod which contains a heating element known as a coil. The tank is filled with a solution called e-liquid. When the battery is activated, the coil heats up which vapourises the e-liquid, to be inhaled by the user.

Vaping of course has not been affected by the menthol ban changes as vaping isn’t smoking due to there being no combustion or tobacco involved. In fact, one of the most admired public health organisations in the world,  PHE (Public Health England), states that vaping is vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, whilst the scientific journal Addiction states vaping ‘helps over 70,000 people quit smoking each year in the UK’. Because of this as well as the vast amount of choice involved, vaping is looked upon as one of the most successful ways to ditch the fags. In fact, it’s estimated that 18% of all menthol smokers intend to switch to vaping as a way to stop smoking, whilst a predicted 40% of menthol smokers, the equivalent of 450,000 people, will quit when the ban commences.

When starting out vaping, we would always recommend beginning your journey with a simple kit. These offer a low upfront cost with the addition of little maintenance or upkeep, except changing the coil/pod and filling with e-liquid which is a lot easier than you think.

Pod Vape Devices

What Are Vape Pod Devices?

Pre-filled Pod Kits provide the easiest and most hassle-free way to vape, mimicking the draw of a cigarette. Instead of employing a vape tank, these kits utilise a pod system which essentially does the same job but in a different format. You don’t even have to refill pods or change coils, just simply click in a flavoured pod and vape away. When the pod is empty, simply replace. Take a look at our wide selection of pre-filled pod kits and pods here.

Refillable Pod Kits offer a bit more upkeep but a lot more choice. These require the pods to be refilled with an e-liquid of your choice, meaning users can choose their ideal flavour and nicotine strength from the huge selection available.

Vape Starter Kits

What Are Open Tank Starter Kits?

Starter Kits are some of the most popular devices in the industry and provide a customisable and eco-friendly experience for vapers. They consist of a vape mod (battery source) and a vape tank, meaning there’s a little more complexity involved. Users are required to perform regular but simple maintenance, this includes refilling the tank and changing your coil when flavour or performance deteriorates. They are operated the same way as pod devices, with a slight difference in their form factor and design. These are extremely popular amongst new vapers as well as more experienced users in need of a reliable back up device.

We have many e-liquid and kit bundles available, including plenty of menthol options, for those who want to make sure they have everything to start vaping right away.



What Are E-liquids?

E-Liquids are the specific type of liquids which are used with a vape kit or device. E-Liquids are composed of four base ingredients; Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), nicotine and flavouring. PG and VG are used to carry the flavour and nicotine in the solution and are responsible for creating the visible vapour when vaped. PG produces more flavour, whilst VG creates more vapour clouds. Most e-liquids will use a combination of the two, to find out more please see our ultimate guide to e-liquid explaining all there is.

Nicotine, whilst being the addictive element in a cigarette, is not actually the harmful component. The harm from smoking comes from the combustion of tobacco and the 4000+ chemicals used in a cigarette (including around 70 known carcinogens), which are carried to the lungs via the tar produced. With vaping there is no tobacco, no combustion and no tar.

There are thousands of types of e-liquids available, in a variety of flavours including our vast collection of menthol e-liquids. If you’re into straight menthol e-liquids, it may be worth checking out our top 10 menthol e-liquids of 2020, whilst if you prefer a robust yet cool fused flavour then take a look at our recommendation of the best menthol tobacco e-liquids.


Bundle Kits

With the ban on menthol cigarettes and other menthol tobacco products confirmed, many will be seriously thinking about making the switch to vaping. We aim to make this transition as seamless as possible and to help with this we currently offer a number of vape kit and e-liquid bundles. We highly recommend our vape bundle kits, not only do they feature a dedicated vaping kit that is easy for beginner vapers and first-time switchers to use, but they also include free e-liquids of your choice. These bundles are perfect for the menthol smoker with a number of menthol flavours to choose from.

With a range of kit types on offer as well as both menthol and tobacco flavour e-liquids, you’ll find a combination that delivers the experience you’re looking for. If you’ve already tried vaping before you may already own a vape kit, to complement this you can check out our growing range of menthol e-liquids and if you’re looking for an upgrade we stock the latest vape kits.



Frequently Asked Questions About Vaping

Is vaping safe


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  • The most commonly asked question is whether or not vaping is safe. While we never recommend vaping to anyone who’s not an adult trying to stop smoking, for those who have smoked or continue to do so, vaping is a far less harmful alternative.

    In 2013, PHE (Public Health England) released their landmark study regarding the safety and efficacy of vaping compared to smoking. Amongst their often quoted findings, they stated that vaping is ‘95% less harmful than smoking’. Year on year this report is updated with the most recent version released in 2019. There’s a lot to learn about the potential of vaping and you can find out more about the PHEs groundbreaking study in our concise breakdown of its findings.                                
what is an ecig

What Is An E-Cigarette?

Read More About E-Cigarettes ➲
  • An e-cigarette, more commonly known as a vape kit, was designed with the express purpose of vapourising specially blended liquid that usually contains nicotine, known as e-liquid (although there is e-liquid widely available that contains no nicotine). Heated by a coil system similar to that which is found in a kettle, this vapour is then inhaled and serves to satisfy a nicotine craving that would normally be satisfied by smoking a cigarette.

    From this simple premise, an entire industry was created. There are dedicated vape kits that suit all levels of experience and budget. If you’re just starting out we recommend you take a look at our Beginner’s Guide to Vaping which provides more information on vape kits as well as a host of other subjects including picking the right kit for you.
How much does vaping cost


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  • With increased taxation on cigarettes and tobacco products, one of the main reasons people look to quit smoking is the rising cost. We’re asked a lot whether or not vaping is cheaper than smoking. A very simple analysis shows that a smoker switching to vaping could save an estimated £3000 per year. This is attractive in any economy and could be used to fund anything from a holiday of a lifetime to a new car.

    For a more in-depth breakdown of the cost-benefit analysis, we have created a short video. If you’re looking to be smart with your money, vaping on a budget has never been simpler either. Whether you’re looking for big brand e-liquids at a better price or have your eye on some heavily reduced hardware, you should check out our clearance sale section.
What vape kit should I buy


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  • When it comes to picking your first vape kit you might think there’s a lot to consider. But that’s no bad thing, with so many choices it’s now even easier to find a vape kit that will suit your needs. If you’re just starting out you’re going to be looking for something simple, reliable and let’s face it cost-effective. A pod kit hits the mark on all three and are so popular they’re often the go-to option for advanced vapers looking for an easier experience.

    You can check out our curated collection of top ten pod kit selection for more information. If you’re looking for a more classic vape kit then you’ll find more inspiration in our top ten vape starter kit list. If you’d like to browse at your leisure, our dedicated vape kits section contains our full range and can be filtered with your precise specs, to help you quickly find your ideal model.
What e-liquid should I buy


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  • Everyone has a different taste when it comes to e-liquid. Aside from a multitude of flavours, e-liquids will also have different levels of their two main ingredients, Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). The different levels of these ingredients will alter the liquid’s viscosity.

    E-liquid with a higher VG content will produce larger amounts of vapour and are thicker, while those that contain more PG deliver a more discreet vape and are runnier. Suitable nicotine content will largely come down to how many cigarettes you smoke per day, with most people starting at a 12mg and adjusting where needed. When it comes to picking your ideal e-liquid you’ll need to find one that offers your ideal combination of taste, nicotine strength and thickness to suit your vape kit. You can make your picks faster with the help of our dedicated e-liquid guide.
What e-liquid should I buy?

Can Vaping Replicate Menthol Cigarettes?

Browse Menthol E-liquids ➲
  • If you can’t buy menthol cigarettes you’ll want to experience a vape that closely replicates the taste of one. Luckily because e-liquids are designed for ex-smokers or those trying to quit there are plenty of options available to you. Finding the right one comes down to more than just flavour. You should also take a look at what type of nicotine is used in your e-liquid.

    There are two main types - freebase and salt nicotine. Freebase will provide a throat hit that many equate as being similar to that of a cigarette, whereas salt nicotine is much smoother. When it comes to flavour there is an abundance of straight menthol blends and menthol tobacco mixes on offer. We’ve put together our top picks for menthol e-liquid and menthol tobacco e-liquid to help you choose.
Beginners guide to vaping


Read First Time Vaper's Guide ➲
  • With so much to learn about vaping you’ll probably be wondering where to start. Vape Club is committed to helping vapers no matter where they are in their journey, particularly beginners. With this in mind, we have created a comprehensive beginner’s guide to vaping which will hopefully answer most questions you have as well as some you probably didn’t even think of. As you progress you’ll find more content to suit the advanced vaper such as our guide to sub ohm vaping.
Vaping Troubleshooting


Contact Us ➲
  • Sometimes the best thing to do is talk to someone, especially if you have questions about vaping. To supplement our large product offering and a growing number of customers we have an experienced service team who are ready to answer your questions. Their wealth of knowledge on vaping and our products can help you pick the right items for you and offer advice on any problems you may be experiencing with vaping. We’re available to contact via telephone, email and social media.



Let us help you!

Please call our customer service team on 01923 479 992, we are available Mon - Fri from 8am - 7pm or drop us an email



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