Alcohol and cigarette ban for under-18s from next year: minister

Bans on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products to the under-18s should be introduced together from the beginning of next year, junior health minister Martin van Rijn has told parliament.

By taking both steps at the same time, the message will be clearer and officials can launch a joint information campaign targeting local councils, bars and cafes and sports clubs, the minister said.

Some MPs want to bring in the new alcohol age – an increase from 16 to 18 for the sale of wine and beer – this summer.

Meanwhile, the Telegraaf warns that health and safety inspectors do not have enough staff to check up on the sale of alcohol to youngsters. Just 47 inspectors have so far been appointed to monitor 8,000 bars plus supermarkets and retail outlets in 408 local authority areas, the paper says.

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