Authorities hope to finally crack Nottingham’s habit as new smoking laws come into force

Video: The new laws aim to cut down on smoking and prevent young people from taking up the habit.

Health officials hope to finally crack Nottingham’s above-average smoking rates as six new laws on smoking and buying cigarettes come into force.

From Sunday (May 21) people will no longer be able to buy smaller packs of cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco and menthol cigarettes will gradually be phased out altogether.

The packaging of cigarettes will change to a standard green-brown design with graphic pictures and health warnings on the side.

Only packs of 20 or more cigarettes will be available, as tens are scrapped, with the cheapest costing £8.82 and flavoured cigarettes and tobacco, including menthols, will be banned from May 20, 2020.

Adult smoking prevalence in Nottingham is 24 per cent – significantly above the national average of 17 per cent.

The new requirements include:

  • Cigarettes will no longer be sold in packs of 10 – the minimum will be 20
  • ​Roll-up tobacco will be sold in minimum pack sizes of 30g
  • The cheapest pack of cigarettes will cost £8.82
  • ​​Menthol cigarettes will begin to be phased out over the next three years
  •  ​​Some flavoured cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, including fruit, spice, herbs, alcohol, candy and vanilla, will be made illegal

The new legislation comes almost a decade after the original smoking ban.

Two thirds of adult smokers say they took up the habit before they were 18, and nearly 40 percent before they were 16.

Nottingham City Council hopes the introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco will help to reduce the number of children taking up smoking.

The new cigarette packaging will be a standard green-brown design with graphic pictures and health warnings on the side.

Alison Challenger, director of public health at Nottingham City Council, said: “We fully support these proposals and hope that they will complement the work we have been doing for many years to reduce the harm caused by smoking.

“A large part of our tobacco strategy in Nottingham focuses on a vision to create a smokefree generation and, specifically, to take smoking out of the sight of children.

“We have great support networks in place in Nottingham through stop-smoking services like New Leaf which can help people to quit – but it’s just as important to try to stop them taking up the habit in the first place. Standardised packaging can help us to achieve that.”

The council’s trading standards department will be checking that businesses comply with the new packaging requirements, on top of continuing to crack down on the city’s problem with illegal tobacco.

Last year, the authority seized 436,555 illegal cigarettes and more than 347kg of illegal hand-rolling tobacco.

Figures show smokers are four times more likely to quit using an NHS stop-smoking service than trying to stop on their own. New Leaf provides free support to help people across Nottinghamshire stop smoking.

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