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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.