Smokers are in for a bitter cocktail of regulation tomorrow as EU and UK laws come into force, phasing out 10-packs, menthol cigarettes and introducing new plain packaging rules.
Manufacturers will be banned from producing 10-packs of cigarettes under the European Union's Tobacco Products Directive, which will be implemented on Friday after the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of the legislation earlier this month.
Packets manufactured for sale in the UK will have to contain at least 20 cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco pouches will have to weigh a minimum of 30 grams. However, there will be a one-year transition period in which smaller packets will still be for sale to allow retailers to sell excess stock. They will be banned outright on 20 May 2017.
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Menthol and flavoured tobacco products will be phased out in a longer transition period of four years, when their sale will be banned from 20 May 2020.
The EU rules will also clamp down on e-cigarette advertising in print, on television and radio, and limit the strength of nicotine liquids and flavours that can be used for vaping.
The London Vape Company has slammed the new rules as "discriminatory".
"Vaping and e-cigarettes should be in a classification of its own, and should not, from the outset have been grouped together as has been done by the Tobacco Products Directive with traditional tobacco based cigarettes," London Vape Company chief executive Anthony Mixides said.
"With more medical practitioners advocating the case for vaping and e-cigarettes to be classified as a medical product, the TPD effectively groups a product that can lead to a total stop of smoking with a product that does the opposite."
From tomorrow, plain packaging rules will also be introduced in domestic legislation after a legal challenge from the tobacco industry, which was ruled against this afternoon by the High Court.
All cigarette packets will look similar under the new domestic laws, with the same green colour, font, size, case and alignment of text on boxes.