How six new laws on cigarettes and tobacco will affect smokers

The government have once again introduced more laws this month set to target smokers of cigarettes and tobacco.

Smokers will no longer be able to buy packs of small cigarettes and small bags of tobacco which will be banned under the new laws.

The government are also looking to phase out menthol cigarettes citing that menthol cigarettes make it easier for people to smoke. The government also want to make changes to cigarette and tobacco packaging.

Here are the new rules and the aims of these changes:

How is the law changing on cigarettes and tobacco?

  • You will not be able to buy smaller packets of cigarettes or tobacco
  • Smaller bags containing less than 30g of roll up tobacco will be banned
  • By May 21st 2017, the cheapest packet of cigarettes will cost £8.82
  • Menthol cigarettes, which ‘experts’ say are aimed at new smokers, will be gradually phased out
  • Cigarette packaging is set to be plain, with graphic images of the effects of tobacco on health
  • Some flavoured cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, including fruit, spice, herbs, alcohol, candy or vanilla, will also be made illegal.

Why is this happening?

The phasing out of menthol cigarettes is to deter young people from smoking. The government are removing the option of buying a pack of ten cigarettes, to try to deter smokers from buying cigarettes as they hope it will make smokers think twice before buying.

Government think tanks have claimed that by raising the cost of cigarettes and tobacco will hit the younger and poorer smokers the hardest financially, which is a key factor in making people quit smoking.

Why is the packaging changing?

Anti-smoking campaigners say, by making the packaging less appealing, will get smokers to think of the long-term implications smoking does to one’s health and the health of those around them.

By making the packaging visually less appealing and with images of people with smoking-related diseases, will deter smokers every time they go to reach for their fags.

The new packaging will have a plain green background with a dominant health image which covers 60% of the packet. The brand name, font, size and location will be standardised across for all manufacturers.

Are menthol cigarettes better for you than normal cigarettes?

There has been a myth surrounding menthol cigarettes that they are better for you than normal cigarettes which are not true. Menthol cigarettes relax the airwaves and mask the traditional smell and taste of cigarettes making it nicer for new smokers to pick up the habit and become addicted.

Menthol cigarettes are just as harmful and dangerous as normal cigarettes. E-cigarettes and vaping are a different product and there are no plans in place to stop the different flavours available on the market, though the government is looking to introduce tighter regulations on contents of e-liquids and their origins.

The price rises in cigarettes and tobacco may deter casual or weekend smokers from buying a packet, but those that want to smoke will continue to do so and will find the money to do so. The increase in price may force the poor and young to purchase fake cigarettes and tobacco to feed their cravings, which will put more money in the hands of the counterfeiters and organised crime.

What are your thoughts on the new changes? Will you be quitting smoking anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below.

This blog originally appeared on East London Head Shop