Blog Title: “Impact of the Menthol Cigarette Ban: A Spotlight on Smoking Cessation in the Netherlands”

by | Apr 20, 2024 | Latest mental health news

The Netherlands, a member of the EU, presents compelling evidence of the impact of this ban. A recent study followed adult smokers in the Netherlands over three waves, before and after the ban’s implementation, and uncovered fascinating insights.

At the outset, it was noted that about 7.5% of the Dutch smokers in the study were using menthol cigarettes. Several characteristics distinguished them from their non-menthol using counterparts. A higher proportion of menthol users were female, aged between 25 and 39 years, had high education, solely smoked factory-made cigarettes, were non-daily smokers, had a lower nicotine dependence, and had plans to quit within the next six months.

Observing the effects of the ban, the study found that menthol use among smokers significantly decreased after it was enforced. More importantly, in terms of smoking cessation, a higher proportion of pre-ban menthol-users were making attempts to quit post-ban, and a notable percentage had indeed quit, particularly among females.
Despite these positive outcomes, the effects of the ban may still be restrained by several challenges.

The study noted that about a third of pre-ban menthol smokers reported still smoking menthol cigarettes after the ban. This could be due to the availability of products that are not branded as ‘menthol’ but may still impart a similar sensory experience. It might also result from the use of ‘flavour accessories’ or alternative, mentholated tobacco products. Therefore, there is scope to strengthen the ban further, ensuring compliance and closing loopholes in order to maximise its impact.
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