The Dutch government announced the ban saying it would help to encourage more people to stop smoking. Along with a previous ban on cigarette vending machines, which will come into effect from 2022, the new supermarket ban will mean 11,000 of the country’s 16,000 tobacco vending points will be removed.
“This will prevent a lot of unnecessary deaths and medical suffering,” said deputy health minister Paul Blokhuis.
Around 22 per cent of Dutch adults smoke on a regular basis and the government has been eager to bring that number down. According to the London Daily, all smoking areas at train stations were removed earlier in the year with office buildings to follow suit by 2022. Currently, cigarettes must be sold in grey packages featuring large health warnings and supermarkets, which account for 55 per cent of all tobacco sales, must already keep the products in closed cabinets.