Dutch banning cigarette sales in supermarkets from 2024

Supermarkets currently make up 55 per cent of all tobacco sales in the Netherlands

FILE - This Dec. 17, 2019 photo shows a group of cigarettes in New York.  About 14% of U.S adults were cigarette smokers last year, for the third year in a row. Meanwhile, the adult vaping rate still appears to be rising, according to a new government report. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

The Netherlands will ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in supermarkets from 2024 in a drive to get more people to give up smoking, the government said on Friday.

Together with a ban on cigarette vending machines from 2022, the supermarket ban will remove around 11,000 of the current 16,000 tobacco vending points in the country, the government said.

Supermarkets currently make up 55 per cent of all tobacco sales in the Netherlands.

"This will prevent a lot of unnecessary deaths and medical suffering," deputy health minister Paul Blokhuis said.

Around 22 per cent of all Dutch aged 18 and above smoked on a regular basis last year, according to health research institute Trimbos, down from 26 per cent in 2014.

Since 2008, smoking has been prohibited in bars and restaurants.

Earlier this year, all smoking areas at train stations in the Netherlands were removed, while office buildings will need to follow suit by 2022.

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