Retailers will soon have to wave goodbye to cigarettes in packs of 10 and 19 after the EU finalised the revised Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD) yesterday.
The new regulations, which will come into effect on 19 May but will not be enforced until 2016, ban the sale of cigarettes in all packs of less than 20, and rolling tobacco in pouches of less than 30g, forcing adult smokers to pay more for larger packs of legitimate products.
It is understood that capsule cigarettes and other flavoured tobacco products will also be banned from 2016, but a further phase-out period of four years will apply to menthol cigarettes.
Picture and text health warnings will be placed at the top of cigarette packs and cover 65% of the front and back, and 50% of the sides.
All promotional elements will be removed from packs, including references to taste or flavourings or their absence (additive free).
JTI UK managing director Daniel Torras said the new regulations would ban 40% of current tobacco sales, creating a massive disruption to the market.
“These regulations that have been supported by the UK government are wide-ranging and restrict the way products are made, packaged and sold. They will have a huge impact on thousands of legitimate businesses across the UK. Given the very short timelines and costly changes required, clarity must now be given on the multiple measures contained in the TPD and subsequent implementation and delegated acts,” he added.