SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Cigarettes and rolling tobacco will no longer be sold in supermarkets from 2024 and ministers are likely to confirm the decision at Friday’s cabinet meeting, ministerial sources have told broadcasters NOS and RTL Nieuws.
The measure is the latest by the government to try to reduce smoking and the availability of cigarettes. Since last month, cigarettes have been sold in identical brown packaging and are hidden from public view in all but specialist outlets.
Tobacco prices have also gone up by an average of almost 20% this year, as the government moves towards its goal of a €10 packet of cigarettes. A further rise, of 12 cents, will take place on January 1, 2021.
Some 22% of the Dutch population still smoke and 35,000 people in the Netherlands a year die from the effects of smoking, being overweight or problem drinking.
The Nationaal Preventieakkoord, a government prevention programme, aims to bring back the number of smokers and problem drinkers to 5% and the number of overweight people to 38% by 2040.