Junior health minister Martin van Rijn is slapping a minimum age of 18 on electronic cigarettes in an effort to stop youngsters smoking, he told parliament on Monday.
The new rules will apply to e-cigarettes with and without nicotine and will bring the smoking aid age limit in line with tobacco and alcohol.
‘Smoking tobacco may be more dangerous but we have to do all we can to stop youngsters smoking,’ he said in the document. Van Rijn hopes to introduce the new age limit as soon as possible.
The decision follows research by the public health organisation RIVM which shows e-cigarettes are more dangerous than thought.
The chemicals included in the smoking mixture include nicotine, propylene glycol and glycerol, aldehydes, nitrosamines and metals. Inhaling these can irritate and damage the airways, cause palpitations and increase the risk of cancers, the RIVM said.
The RIVM is now researching the impact of e-cigarettes on passive smokers.