The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) is investigating cigarettes that may illegally have a menthol smell or taste,

NRC

reports

Tuesday.

Menthol cigarettes have been banned in the European Union (EU) since last May.

The taste of menthol made smoking more pleasant and this goes against the EU's plan to discourage smoking.

Although aromas are not prohibited, they must not be perceptible to taste or smell.

This applies to all tastes.

A cigarette "should not have any other characteristic odor or taste than that of tobacco", says Reinskje Talhout, tobacco research at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in

NRC

.

The NVWA spends a lot of time on its own investigation, because prescribed European procedures must be complied with.

As long as the investigation is ongoing, the regulator does not want to say which brand of cigarettes it concerns, the newspaper writes.

Tobacco manufacturer British American Tobacco did, however, file a complaint with the NVWA against Japan Tobacco International (JTI), because this manufacturer would make cigarettes of which several flavors exist.

JTI says in a response in

NRC

that the company does indeed sell cigarettes with a very low amount of methanol, but says these products do not contain any "clearly discernible odor or taste" other than tobacco.