Monday 23 May 2022

Anti-smoking campaigners call on shops to stop selling cigarettes


Medics and cancer charities have stepped up pressure on shops to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products ahead of a parliamentary debate on anti-smoking policy.

Doctors, cancer patients and representatives of more than 20 hospitals signed a letter drafted by the KWF Kankerbestrijding charity demanding an immediate end to all sales.

‘We find it incomprehensible that supermarkets, convenience stores and filling stations are selling a product that causes so much damage,’ the letter said.

A ban on selling tobacco products online will come into force next year and supermarkets will not be allowed to sell cigarettes after 2024, but newsagents and other small shops can carry on stocking them until 2030.

The letter was aimed at large supermarkets such as Albert Heijn and Jumbo as well as oil companies, who own petrol stations, and retail chains such as Bruna and Primera. Cut-price grocer Lidl stopped selling tobacco products in 2021.

Addiction specialist Robert van de Graaf said it was ‘sanctimonious’ of other supermarkets to ‘keep selling these deadly products while pretending to be healthy and sustainable.’

MPs are due to debate anti-smoking measures later this week.

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