Is the Menthol Cigarette Ban The Same For E-Cigarettes?

By Eina Panayotova

Does the Menthol Cigarette Ban Apply to Vape Juice?

The UK banned characterising flavours in cigarettes and rolling tobacco in 2016. The ban on menthol cigarettes came into force in May 2020, following a four-year phase-out period. In the wake of this legislation, there has been confusion around the legal status of menthol vape juice, as well as menthol heated tobacco products.

So, what’s the situation - are they banning menthol vape juice? The short answer is no. The ban on characterising flavours doesn’t extend to vapes, e-cigarettes, or heated tobacco, and there’s no menthol vape juice ban in the UK.

Want to know more? Find out everything you need to know about the menthol ban, and what it means for menthol vape juice users, with our simple guide.

What is the Ban on Characterising Flavours?

Before we get started, it might be worth covering the basics of menthol cigarettes. First question, what are menthol cigarettes? It’s pretty simple. Menthol cigarettes are simply cigarettes that have been flavoured with menthol, a compound (found naturally in mint plants like spearmint or peppermint or created synthetically) that produces a minty odour and taste.

The legislative ban on menthol cigarettes and rolling tobacco stems from the EU Tobacco Products Directive 2014, which was transposed into UK law through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. The provisions of Regulation 15, which prohibit the manufacture and supply of cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco with characterising flavours, stipulated a one-year phase-out period for most flavoured cigarettes and rolling tobacco (such as vanilla, fruit and herb), and an additional three-year transitional period for menthol cigarettes, which were prohibited from sale from 20 May, 2020.

Does the Menthol Ban Apply to Menthol Vapes?

The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 also introduced restrictions on the inclusion of certain additives in electronic cigarettes and e-liquids, however, the ban on flavourings applies only to cigarettes (including components of cigarettes such as filters, papers and capsules) and rolling tobacco, and does not extend to electronic cigarettes and refill containers. E-liquids, vape cartridges and electronic cigarettes containing menthol and other flavourings can be lawfully manufactured and sold in the UK.

Does the Menthol Ban Apply to Heated Tobacco?

Like electronic cigarettes and refill containers, heated tobacco is an alternative to cigarettes that is not subject to the ban on characterising flavours. HEETS tobacco sticks, used with IQOS HeatControl™ Technology, are available in four menthol variants: Turquoise, Blue, Green, and Sienna Caps. For more information, have a look at the range of menthol HEETS variants today.

Important information: IQOS is not risk-free and provides nicotine, which is addictive.

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