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Worldwide news and comment
  1. Marita Hefler1,
  2. John Baker2
  1. 1 Wellbeing & Preventable Chronic Disease, Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina, Northern Territory, Australia
  2. 2 La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marita Hefler, Wellbeing & Preventable Chronic Disease, Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina, NT 0810, Australia; marita.hefler{at}menzies.edu.au

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NETHERLANDS: Move to phase out tobacco sales in supermarkets and petrol stations

All articles written by Marita Hefler and John Baker unless otherwise attributed. Ideas and items for News Analysis should be sent to marita.hefler@menzies.edu.au

On 3 March 2020, a majority in the Dutch parliament voted to end the sale of tobacco in supermarkets and petrol stations. All political parties, apart from the three liberal right-wing parties, supported a motion that called on the government to ask supermarkets and petrol stations to voluntarily stop selling tobacco products. Should they fail to acquiesce before 2022, they will be legally required to do so.

Reducing the number of tobacco sales points is one of the main changes that health organizations in the Netherlands, in particular the Youth Smoking Prevention Foundation (Stichting Rookpreventie Jeugd; SRPJ), have been advocating. Making tobacco products more expensive and harder to access are the most effective ways of discouraging youth from taking up smoking.

Reducing the number of tobacco sales points is one of the main changes that health organizations in the Netherlands, in particular the Youth Smoking Prevention Foundation (Stichting Rookpreventie Jeugd; SRPJ), have been advocating. Making tobacco products more expensive and harder to access are the most effective ways of discouraging youth from taking up smoking.

Estimates on the number of tobacco sales points in the Netherlands vary from 30 000 to 60 000. The 6300 supermarkets sell 50% of all tobacco in the Netherlands, generating annual turnover of €2.1 billion (6.2% of total turnover). The Netherlands also has over 2,000 staffed petrol stations that sell tobacco. These sales contribute 60% to 75% of retail turnover, excluding petrol, in those stores.

Supermarkets and petrol stations are places where young people can easily obtain tobacco. Recent figures from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) revealed that only 35% of petrol stations and 73% of supermarkets complied …

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