Six new smoking and tobacco laws coming out in May


On Sunday, 6 new smoking and tobacco laws will come into force and they are set to have a big effect on smokers. These big changes to the law, officially known as the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, were announced last May, but retailers have been given one year to adjust to the changes. When the new rules are implemented branded cigarette packets, 10-packs of cigarettes and menthols will all be a thing of the past.


The Laws

The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 will be as follows:

  • Small packets of cigarettes will be banned
  • Smaller bags of tobacco (containing less than 30g or less) will also be banned
  • The cheapest packet of cigarettes will cost £8.82
  • Menthol cigarettes will be banned- as these are believed to be targeted towards new smokers
  • Cigarette packets will be plain, with graphic images which show people the impact that tobacco has on health
  • Some flavoured cigarettes, including fruit, spice, herbs, alcohol, candy or vanilla, will also be banned


Why Have These Laws Been Put in Place?

The new smoking and tobacco laws have been designed to target the sale, advertisement and packaging of tobacco products. It is believed that the rules will deter young people from taking up the habit and encourage current smokers to quit.

Action on Smoking Health (ASH) has said that phasing out menthol cigarettes will help to stop young people from taking up smoking, as menthols are generally considered to be the ‘beginner’s cigarette’. The organisation also hopes that the price changes and ban on smaller packets will force smokers to quit in a bid to save money.

It is essential that the new smoking and tobacco laws make a difference, as smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths and is responsible for around 100,000 deaths in the UK every year, leaving many more people living with debilitating health conditions. Smoking also has an impact on the health of smokers’ families as every year UK hospitals see around 9,500 admissions of children with second hand smoke related illnesses.

Smoking greatly increases the risk of developing more than 50 serious and potentially life-threatening health issues, including 90% of lung cancer cases. Smoking also causes cancer in many other parts of the body such as:

  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Pancreas

As smoking causes serious damage to the heart and blood circulation, it can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. The detrimental effects that tobacco has on the lungs means that smokers are vulnerable to bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as more common respiratory conditions such as asthma and the common cold.


Get Help to Stop Smoking

If you want to quit smoking, you can make use of a number of free and helpful services in the Berkshire area which will hugely increase your chances of quitting permanently. To find your local Stop Smoking service and make use of the trained advisors waiting to lend you their support, simply enter your post code into this search box. One of the services you might be directed to is Smokefreelife Berkshire. This is a free resource provided by Solutions 4 Health for smokers based in Bracknell, Reading, Slough, Maidenhead and surrounding areas.

There are also several different treatments that you can get from your local pharmacy to help you beat your addiction to smoking. Items such as nicotine replacement patches, Varenicline and E-cigarettes have been shown to help with withdrawal symptoms.

When it comes to stopping smoking, the best treatment option will depend on your personal preference. This may be influenced by your age, medical conditions, the level of your smoking habit and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Speak to your pharmacist or NHS Stop Smoking advisor for more advice.