The Dutch government is going to cut the number of points of sale for cigarettes. From 2032, they may only be sold in specialist shops. From 2024, its sale will already be banned in supermarkets. That writes De Telegraaf. In our country, it was decided on Thursday to ban cigarette vending machines everywhere, except in supermarkets.
For example, for petrol stations, a ban on the sale of cigarettes is on the table for 2030. In addition, the Dutch State Secretary for Prevention Maarten van Ooijen (ChristenUnie) wants to expand the smoking ban. Smoking is currently prohibited in the Netherlands in catering establishments, public buildings and schoolyards. The government would also like to see this banned from 2025 in places where many children come, such as playgrounds.
The scenario of making cigarettes considerably more expensive – with an increase of 30 to 47 euros per pack – is a bridge too far for several Dutch politicians. However, there will be a study into whether a substantial price increase after 2024 can be used to get smokers to stop. An annual increase of 10 percent for smoking products is on the table, but an annual increase of one euro is also an option.
The Dutch cabinet would also like the number of places to sell e-cigarettes or vapers to go down. They are especially popular with young people.
Meanwhile in Belgium
In our country, the plenary meeting approved a bill from Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit) on Thursday to ban cigarette vending machines everywhere, except in supermarkets. This means that they will soon disappear from the catering industry.
This rule should make tobacco products less readily available and also make it easier to enforce the ban on selling tobacco to minors. In principle, there are ‘age coins’ that should prevent minors under the age of eighteen from buying cigarettes from a vending machine, but minors appear to be able to obtain them easily.
The ban will come into effect 12 months after publication in the Staatsblad, presumably sometime in 2024. The sector will therefore have some time to remove the devices.