The Dutch product safety board NVWA is going to clamp down on tobacco manufacturers who are bribing tobacconists to sell more cigarettes, reports DutchNews, citing De Telegraaf.
Tobacco companies have reportedly been paying up to €3,000 ($3,317) a year to tobacconists who sell a previously agreed number of cigarettes.
The practice is illegal, the NVWA said, because it contravenes the advertising ban on cigarettes.
Tobacco firms can expect an initial fine of €45,000 and repeat offenders can be fined up to €450,000.
Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said the practice is “worrying as it is aimed at keeping smokers addicted.”
He praised the NVWA for giving off a clear signal that the illegal contracts between retailers and manufacturers will not be tolerated.