Thursday 19 September 2019

No delay to ban on displaying tobacco products in shops, minister says

Photo: DutchNews.nl

There will be no delay to the ban on displaying cigarettes in shops for small tobacconists, despite calls for change by some VVD parliamentarians, junior health minister Paul Blokhuis has told MPs.

MPs from the ruling coalition party VVD want a year extension to the ban on shops displaying cigarettes in public view to give small shopkeepers more time to prepare. The ban will come into force in July 2021.

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.

Blokhuis told MPs during Tuesday’s debate that shopkeepers can ‘hang up a curtain or make a cupboard with doors’ to conceal their tobacco stocks after the ban comes in.  ‘This rule has been on the cards since 2017 and it cannot come as a surprise,’ the minister said.

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