Changing the color of cigarettes from white to a darker hue would make them less attractive to (potential) smokers, reports Dutch News, citing the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Darker colors suggest a stronger taste and more damage to health, RIVM researchers noted. White, by contrast, is associated with a safer product. Selling cigarettes in darker colors would help the government achieve its aims of zero children smoking and only 5 percent of over 18s smoking by 2040, as stated in the national prevention agreement, the RIVM said.
Changing the color of cigarettes would require a change in Dutch law, however, which states that cigarettes should be white. Another option to discourage smoking would be printing health warnings both on the packaging and the cigarettes, according to the RIVM.
The RIVM opposes a ban on filters, which contain plastics and harmful chemicals, because it may create the impression that filterless cigarettes are less unhealthy. The RIVM is compiling a list of ingredients in tobacco and vaping capsules that may be banned by law, including vitamins.
The results of the RIVM research will be used in policy to discourage smoking, Junior Health Minister Maarten van Ooijen said, although some recommendations, such as lowering nicotine content, would have to be decided on a European level.