Netherlands raises legal age to buy cigarettes

Netherlands raises legal age for smoking
The Hague, Nov 13: The Dutch senate on Tuesday approved a bill that increases the legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products from 16 to 18.

The proposal of Martin van Rijn, state secretary for the ministry of health, welfare and sport, was approved by the house of representatives on Oct 10.

Netherlands will, thus, have a new age limit for the sale of both tobacco and alcohol from next year. A bill raising the age limit to purchase alcohol was passed earlier this year.

By prohibiting the sale of tobacco for people under 18, the ministry hopes to bring down the number of smokers. After the age of 18, fewer people start smoking, they said.

Currently, 22 of the 28 EU countries have an age limit of 18 for buying tobacco products, media report said. Worldwide, the age limit for tobacco ranges from 15 to 21.

In 2012, about 26 percent of the Dutch population aged 15 and older smoked, compared to 25 percent in 2011 and 27 percent in 2010.


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