Menthol cigarettes will be banned from sale in Malta

Menthol cigarettes will be banned in Malta this year when strict new laws come into force.

The ban, which will begin in May, will cover the sale of menthol cigarettes and rolling tobacco.

Maltese public health officials hope the move will deter young people from smoking and reduce numbers taking up the habit.

Doctors claim menthol and other flavoured cigarettes make smoking more appealing to non-smokers because they take away the severity of the smoke.

The changes will come into force in May after the EU Tobacco Product Directive was passed in 2016.

Department of Health figures show that smoking kills around 400 men and 130 women every year in Malta.

Around 94% of smokers in Malta start before the age of 25.

The ban on smoking in public places came into force 16 years ago in Malta, transforming pubs, restaurants and buses into smoke-free zones.

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