The Netherlands may increase legal age to buy cigarettes to 18

Posted: November 27, 2012 in Health, Smoking
Tags: , ,

Original DutchNews article found here

Wednesday 21 November 2012

The legal age for buying cigarettes in the Netherlands is ‘very likely’ to be increased to 18, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

The paper says junior health minister Martin van Rijn is currently working on policies to tighten up official policy on tobacco and this is one of the options. Currently, 16-year-olds can buy cigarettes and tobacco products.

According to RTL news, draft legislation could be presented to the cabinet by the end of this year.

Earlier this month, several large tobacco organisations called on the government to increase the age limit to 18, in line with plans for the alcoholic drinks industry.

Bars and cafes

The number of smokers in the Netherlands will have risen to 26.2% of the adult population by the end of this year because of government policy, anti-smoking group Stivoro said in early November.

Efforts by anti-smoking campaigners to reinstate a smoking ban in small cafes and bars failed earlier this year when judges in The Hague ruled the law does allow exceptions.

Health minister Edith Schippers relaxed the ban in 2010 so that bars smaller than 70m2 with no staff did not have to comply.

However, the ban is widely flouted in other establishments. Anti-smoking campaigners estimate smoking continues in around half the country’s clubs and bars.

Schippers has been widely criticised by health campaigners for being too lax about combating smoking and not employing enough inspectors.

More smokers in the Netherlands

Monday 05 November 2012

The number of smokers in the Netherlands will have risen to 26.2% of the adult population by the end of this year, anti-smoking lobby Stivoro says on its website.

In 2011, the percentage of over-18s who smoke was 25%, but that will go up by 170,000 people this year, research by TNS Nipo shows.

The organisation blames the increase on the relaxation of the smoking ban in small cafes and the removal of help with stopping smoking from the basic health insurance package.

‘Government policy appears to have directly influenced the number of smokers,’ Stivoro director Dewi Segaar, said in a statement.

Customers can continue to smoke in small bars, judges rule

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Efforts by anti-smoking campaigners to reinstate a smoking ban in small cafes and bars failed on Wednesday when judges in The Hague ruled the law does allow exceptions.

Anti-smoking group Clean Air Nederland took the Dutch state to court in an effort to enforce a ban on smoking in all bars and cafes.

One of the first acts of the current government in 2010 was to relax the ban so that bars smaller than 70m2 with no staff did not have to comply.

Ignored

However, the ban, brought in over four years ago, is widely flouted in bigger bars, cafes and night clubs.

Clean Air Nederland argued the current situation has led to unfair competition with bars which do keep the law. In addition, ‘the state is breaking international agreements to discourage smoking’ and undermining existing Dutch laws, the organisation said.

The court in The Hague said current tobacco laws do allow exemptions to the ban. In addition, the judges said claims that the relaxation of the rules conflicted with the Dutch constitution were not proven.

‘The exemption for small bars has led to smoking in around half of all cafes,’ Clean Air Nederland said in a reaction. ‘This not only damages the health of other patrons but of a lot of workers.’

© DutchNews.nl

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