‘Tobacco spies’ will enforce new law on smoking age

A team of 45 young ‘tobacco spies’ will be employed to check tobacconists and supermarkets are enforcing the new legal age limit on smoking, junior health minister Martin van Rijn told parliament in a briefing on Wednesday.

The government recently agreed to raise the age limit from 16 to 18 at the behest of the EU.

The youngsters, aged between 18 and 23, will visit tobacco outlets and if they are sold cigarettes or rolling tobacco will alert inspectors from the food safety body NVWA, Van Rijn said.