The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

18+ to buy tobacco in the Netherlands

You will have to be at least 18 years of age to buy tobacco in the Netherlands as of 1 January 2014.

But the new rule is not a signal that the government is getting tough on tobacco use, says one advocate.

Circumstances have changed because of a new government coalition, says Dewi Segaar, Senior Knowledge Exchange Officer at Alliance Smokefree Holland. He gives three examples:

  • There is no longer consensus within government on rolling back tobacco control measures;
  • Tobacco control is now the responsibility of the deputy minister of health, rather than the minister of health, and
  • A small majority in parliament is now in favour of stronger tobacco control policies.

"The increase of the minimum age to purchase tobacco in the Netherlands is a sign of this improvement," says Dewi, former Director of STIVORO.

"However, we still lack a comprehensive view of the government on tobacco control. So in this respect it still is an isolated decision and we need much improvement on that."

Definitely one country to watch in 2014!

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