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Smoking in Netherlands

The overall smoking prevalence in the Netherlands has been decreasing since 2006. 23.4% of the adult population in the Netherlands are current smokers, down from 29% in 2006. This means there are now approximately 3.3 million smokers in the country. 25.6% of men smoke and for women the figure is 21.3%. The most recent data show there were 29,989 annual deaths from tobacco-smoking related diseases (approximately 11,900 women and 18,100 men). The annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking was 21.11% (women: 16.1%; and men: 24.4%). Nicotine vapes (e-cigarettes) are legal in the Netherlands and there are 146,900 vapers in the country, giving an adult vaping prevalence of 1.01%. There is a requirement to ensure vape packaging contains a health warning, and they can only be sold to those 18 and older. Vaping devices can be purchased without a prescription but there are legal restrictions on their use in public places. Heated tobacco products are allowed and can be marketed but the situation is a bit more complicated for snus. While it is illegal to import snus for trade or buy the product online, it is possible to import it for personal use. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can be marketed and it is available to buy in pharmacies without a prescription. The NRT market in the Netherlands is worth €20.6 million. For further information and full references, click through to the detailed datasheets above.

Read articles from Netherlands

April 16, 2024 by

Doctors again call for action on vapes to stop kids smoking

Children have been hospitalized due to severe lung issues from excessive vaping, prompting the Dutch child medicine association NVK to take action for a nicotine-free society and potentially banning e-cigarettes. An alarming 22% of Dutch youth aged 12 to 25 vape, often alongside smoking tobacco. Doctors warn of the tobacco industry's tactics to addict young people. Vaping is cheaper than smoking. The Netherlands banned flavored e-liquids in 2022.

April 04, 2024 by

Smoker's face: scan estimates age of buyer at cigarette stores

In the Netherlands, smokers may need a face scan to prove they are over 18 to purchase cigarettes, with fines up to €9,000 for non-compliance. Using AI, a camera estimates age based on facial features. 100 outlets, including 5 gas stations in The Hague, have adopted the technology. Data is not stored, and scanning is not obligatory. Some find the process helpful, while others have concerns about data privacy. Starting in July, tobacco sales will be limited to specialized stores and gas stations.

October 16, 2023 by

Dutch wait for EU tax on e-cigarettes plan, despite health fears

The Dutch government has no plans to introduce a tax on e-cigarettes, or vapes, and will leave the issue up to the new administration after the November election, the Telegraaf reported on Monday. The Netherlands is waiting for the green light from the EU to start taxing e-cigarettes and that is likely to take several years, the paper said. In the meantime, other EU countries have introduced their own local taxes and the Netherlands has done the same for other unhealthy products, such as of soft drinks, the paper points out.

April 24, 2023 by

Netherlands bans sale of all nicotine pouches

The Dutch government on Friday said it would ban the sale of all types of nicotine pouches in the Netherlands, while widening the rules for tobacco to include all other types of tobacco-free nicotine products.

The government said the ban would make it easier to uphold the rules regarding nicotine pouches, which are currently only allowed if they contain less than 0.035 grammes of nicotine.

The new rules will also prohibit the use of nicotine pouches and other tobacco-free nicotine products in places where smoking is not allowed.

March 09, 2023 by

Dutch parliament supports making e-cigarettes look boring, uniform

Dutch parliamentarians want e-cigarettes and vapes to have a boring and uniform appearance. According to the D66, which will submit this proposal in parliament on Wednesday, this will make vaping less attractive to teenagers. A majority in parliament supports the plan, RTL Nieuws reports.

“Young people now think it’s cool to have such an accessory with glitter while vaping is extremely unhealthy,” D66 parliamentarian Jeanet van der Laan told the broadcaster. “The vapes resemble a lip gloss or a marker. They are often colorful, and there are vapes full of glitter. Parents often have no idea exactly what the young people are carrying. Super worrying.”

December 23, 2022 by

Dutch Danger

The Dutch government has launched a consultation on legislation to ban nicotine pouches. The consultation ends on 16 January. The European Commission has already signalled that it would like an EU wide ban on nicotine pouches. If individual member states, such as the Netherlands, ban pouches, an EU wide ban becomes far more likely.

Nicotine pouches are becoming increasingly popular with people seeking safer alternatives to smoking. It is morally wrong to deny people who smoke access to products which are less harmful to their health.

The NL government’s rationale for the ban relies on the same tired old arguments we see used against vaping. The ban is based on ideology, not on sound science.

December 01, 2022 by

Dutch ban on flavored e-cigarettes to begin on October 1; Only tobacco flavor allowed

The Netherlands will ban all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco on October 1 next year, according to an amendment the government published in the Staatscourant. From then, there will be no more banana, biscuit, or fruit loops flavored vape liquids or e-cigarettes, only a limited number of tobacco flavors. The ban also covers pre-filled e-cigarettes and disposable vapes. The government announced in 2020 that it planned to ban flavored e-cigarettes and vapes because they see it as a stepping stone for teenagers toward actual cigarettes. Now it’s clear that stores will have until 30 September 2023 to sell their existing stocks.

November 11, 2022 by

Cigarette testing method may downplay tar, nicotine content, court rules

There are ‘strong indications’ that filter cigarettes on sale in the Netherlands may break official EU limits on tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide, judges in Rotterdam said on Friday. The ruling, which derives from a European Court of Justice ruling in February, gives the Dutch food and product safety board NVWA six weeks to start ensuring the law is followed properly and that cigarettes do not exceed EU limits. The court case follows tests carried out by public health institute RIVM in 2018 which showed the amount of tar in a cigarette can be up to 26 times the official norm and that nicotine and carbon monoxide levels are also far too high in most brands.


September 29, 2022 by

Dutch flavour ban fears: Copy Sweden’s harm reduction model instead

A proposed Dutch flavour ban has tobacco harm reduction advocates scrambling, prompting questions as to why the Netherlands doesn’t instead follow Sweden’s example when it comes to regulating nicotine products.

Consumers and interest groups have until September 28 to respond to a consultation launched by the Dutch government’s proposed amendments to the country’s tobacco laws.

The changes would outlaw all but 16 “approved” substances that could be used to make tobacco-flavoured e-liquids. Not only would all current e-liquids on the market be banned, but the proposed changes would also outlaw the development of any new flavours unless they rely on the approved substances.

September 05, 2022 by

Anti-smoking policy 'fails' to help young smokers: Health experts

Health experts and foundations are calling on the Cabinet to strengthen its anti-smoking policy as smoking becomes increasingly popular among young people. Some have called the "smoke-free generation" plan a failure, according to AD.

Almost four years into the government's extensive plan to eliminate smoking among young people and decrease adult smokers to 5 percent, experts believe it is time for urgent action. Nearly a third of young adults smoke and the number of young people who have smoked has actually increased since 2020.