Europe has decided to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes, rolling tobacco and volume tobacco from 2020. Menthol smoking products will also be banned in the Netherlands in 2020. As of May 20, all sales channels are prohibited from selling these products, including in duty-free zones.
Menthol cigarettes aim, according to the European Commission, to make tobacco products attractive and to encourage people to smoke, which would target especially young people. Cigarettes containing menthol are just as harmful to health as classic cigarettes.
The new menthol directive provides for a separate, less strict regulation for electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco. These products have different characteristics than classic smoking products.
Quitting smoking is the best option for the menthol smoker who can no longer buy a menthol cigarette. Switching to a menthol alternative is a solution for menthol smokers who don’t quit. There are e-cigarettes with menthol liquids and devices with tobacco sticks that heat tobacco with a menthol flavor. Philip Morris, for example, has IQOS that uses HEETS. These HEETS are available in different tobacco blends, including some menthol variants,and are the closest in terms of taste experience to smoking.
The use of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products is not entirely risk-free. Therefore, heated tobacco and e-cigarettes are only a better choice for adult smokers and not for non-smokers.