Bexley Council hopes the UK-wide ban on menthol-flavoured cigarettes will  prevent hundreds of local children taking up the habit, after new data showed more than 300 youths in the borough start smoking every year.

In a move welcomed by the local authority’s director of public health, a ban on the sale of menthol flavoured cigarettes came into force on May 20 May.

It comes as the authority reveals new figures showing that 374 children in Bexley between 11 and 15-years-old take up smoking each year.

Dr Anjan Ghosh, the director of public health in Bexley, said menthol cigarettes are popular as a starter product for children and research shows menthol smokers are more likely to become heavily addicted.

“We support the ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes, which we know make it easier for children to start smoking and harder for them to quit. We want every child in Bexley to have the best possible future. Being healthy and not smoking is a key part of this,” Dr Ghosh said.

The ban is part of the Government’s tobacco control strategy to deliver its ambition for England to be smoke free by 2030.

Bexley Council runs a Stop Smoking Team which provides telephone support and access to medication for smokers – tripling their chances of success.

If you want to stop smoking or to book a telephone consultation with a specialist advisor, contact the Stop Smoking team on 0800 783 2514 or go to