Cigarette law changes and booze price hikes affecting millions coming in Budget

New laws are coming in this year which are set to affect millions of smokers and drinkers, it has been revealed.

As part of the government's plan to stop smoking in the UK entirely, from May 20, all menthol, flavoured, and skinny cigarettes and rolling tobacco, will be banned from British shops.

It is claimed that artificial flavouring in cigarettes and tobacco encourage more young people to start, which the government wants to put an end to with this month's Budget.

The ban stems from the new European Union Tobacco Product Directive laws, which aim to outlaw cigarettes with a "characterising flavour" other than tobacco.

This follows a ban on packs of flavoured cigarette packs of 10 in May 2017.

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Under the law, fruity-flavoured and sweet cigarettes were all also banned.

The charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said the changes will stop the production and sale of any filters, paper, packaging, capsules or other component containing flavouring in cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco.

This also extends to "technical features" allowing customers to alter the "smell, taste, or smoke intensity" of the product.

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ASH spokeswoman Amanda Sandford said increasing cigarette prices and stopping the sale of smaller packets have made smoking less appealing.

The Mirror reported that Amanda said banning menthol cigarettes could stop younger people from smoking.

"It is naturally hard to inhale smoke and for many the first time they smoke it is repugnant, but people persevere with it and that's when they become addicted.

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"There is evidence that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour masks the harshness of the smoke, therefore younger people find it easier to smoke.

"However, it is an absolute myth that menthol cigarettes are better for you.

"All cigarettes are harmful and menthol cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal cigarettes."

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It comes less than a week before the first Budget of Boris' Johnson's government since December's General Election.

Newly-appointed chancellor Rishi Sunak will deliver the financial statement in the House of Commons on March 11.

As part of it, the government will set out its so-called "sin taxes" on booze and cigarettes.

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The changes will come into effect from 6pm at the end of budget day, immediately affecting prices in shops and supermarkets.

Booze prices are likely to rise, although the government is yet to announce what this year's sin tax announcements will be.

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Money

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