Countdown begins to higher age limit to buy cigarettes and beer

Supermarkets are to ask clients they suspect of being under the age of 25 to prove their age if they want to buy cigarettes and alcohol from next year.

The legal age to buy tobacco products, beer and wine is going up from 16 to 18 from next January. Supermarkets say they need to raise the ID age because it is more difficult to determine if someone is 18 than 16.

The health ministry on Monday launched its campaign to alert the public to the new age limits, featuring a number of celebrities and Feyenoord football coach Ronald Koeman.

The government hopes that raising the age to 18 will discourage more young teenagers from starting smoking and drinking and will make it easier for schools to take action. A number of cafes and bars have already said they will ban the under-18s from their premises to head off the risk of fines.

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