Retailers lack Menthol Ban knowledge, says new research


Retailers are still lacking knowledge about the Menthol Ban, coming into force on 20 May, according to a new survey.
The survey by manufacturer JTI of over 350 retailers carried out via highlighted the need for further education and additional support for retailers on the specifics of the legislation.
Worryingly, 23% of those surveyed did not know that capsule cigarettes will be outlawed.
A huge 50% were not aware of the penalties they could incur for non-compliance.
Another 34% incorrectly believed that mentholated smoking accessories will be banned, while 24% did not know that there will be no sell through period.
One in five believed that menthol e-liquids will be included in the ban.
And 57% think the ban will reduce footfall, whilst 77% were concerned it will have a negative impact on their business.
Mark Yexley, JTI’s Communications Director, comments, “The Menthol and Capsule cigarette ban is one of the biggest changes the industry has faced in recent years, however we know from experience that the tobacco category is extremely resilient. We understand that retailers are concerned about the impact the ban will have on their business, but we are committed in supporting them to prepare for the changes ahead.”
In response to the findings, JTI has launched a dedicated microsite, which includes a host of practical information and an educational trade video to support retailers through the change.
The website also contains a consumer facing page, which existing adult smokers can visit to find out more about the upcoming ban.
Retailers also gave their thoughts on what current menthol and capsule smokers could do after the ban; 25% believe smokers will remain brand loyal within the RMC category, 19% think they will switch to roll your own tobacco, 45% are certain their customers will switch to vaping or other reduced risk products, and 11% assume smokers will leave the category altogether.
JTI expects that the vast majority of adult smokers will remain brand loyal, with some switching to other alternatives based on their preference.
Yexley continues, “As a manufacturer of choice, we are continuing to innovate to ensure the needs of existing adult smokers are met. The Menthol and Capsule cigarette ban will also provide a big opportunity for a number of exciting new products – including our Sterling Dual Capsule Leaf Wrapped cigarillo, the Logic vaping range, plus the new tobacco-free nicotine pouch, Nordic Spirit. JTI will be on hand to help support its trade partners through the transition – we advise retailers to visit our new microsite to ensure they are fully prepared.”
For more information retailers should visit the microsite or speak to their JTI sales rep.