The Dutch government plans to restrict sales of cigarettes to tobacconists within 10 years, reports the NL Times.
Supermarkets will have to stop selling tobacco products in 2024 while gas stations and convenience stores may continue selling them until 2030. Over the following two years, all nontobacconist stores will have to phase out tobacco sales.
Earlier this year, supermarket market leader Albert Heijn announced a trial with no tobacco sales at its Pijnacker store ahead of the 2024 ban. The pharmacy chain Kruidvat removed tobacco from sale in 2018, followed by Lidl Nederland.
The government also intends to further reduce the number of places where smoking is allowed. For example, it plans to ban smoking at playgrounds and sports parks from 2025.
In addition, the government wants to further increase the prices of tobacco products. Next year and in 2024, a pack of cigarettes will become €1.20 ($1.24) more expensive on average.
While cigarette prices in the Netherlands have risen steadily in recent years, they have remained stable in terms of affordability due to wage increases. On average, Dutch smokers consistently spent 2.5 percent of their annual income on cigarettes throughout that period.
The Dutch government aims for a “smoking-free generation” by 2040.