The tide may be turning against tobacco in the Netherlands, with almost three-quarters of young adults saying they support a major increase in tax on cigarettes, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond.
Support for higher taxes among the under-25s is noteworthy because almost one in three smoke, the national statistics office CBS said earlier this month.
In total, 65% of the population back higher taxes on tobacco, and there is majority support across all political parties, the De Hond poll said. The poll was carried out on behalf of anti-smoking lobby group TabakNee.nl.
The poll also showed 63% believed tobacco products should only be sold in specialist shops, not supermarkets and petrol stations, and 65% back an increase in the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.
The Dutch government has always resisted a sharp rise in tobacco taxes, even though it has proved effective in other countries. Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis is currently drawing up a new strategy to combat smoking, the AD said on Monday.
A packet of 20 branded cigarettes currently costs around €6.70 in the Netherlands, just slightly more than in Germany and Belgium. The most expensive place in Europe to buy cigarettes is Norway, where a packet of cigarettes is over €11.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.