VVD MPs want delay on cigarette display ban for small shops

MPs from the ruling coalition party VVD want to delay a ban on shops displaying cigarettes  in public view by July 2021, Trouw said on Monday.

The right-wing Liberals say more time should be given to tobacconists to make adjustments and is calling for a year’s delay for small shopkeepers, the paper said.

The government presented its plans to further reduce smoking nine months ago and talks on how to put the proposals into practice have been ongoing since then.

‘We would consider a more lenient start date to be a good thing,’ VVD MP Hayke Veldman told the paper. MPs are due to debate the government’s anti-smoking plans on Tuesday.

The plans include putting up the price of cigarettes to €10 a packet, introducing an outright smoking ban in the healthcare sector, at schools and playgrounds and a ban on tobacco advertising.

The measures will cover cigarettes and cigars, e-cigarettes, water pipes and ‘herbal mixtures’. By 2020, tobacco product packaging will have to be ‘neutral’, by 2021 cigarettes should not be on public display and by 2025 supermarkets will be banned from selling tobacco altogether.

In addition, the plans would allow local authorities to refuse subsidies for organisations where smoking is still allowed, albeit in special areas.

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