01 June 2022, by Victoria Séveno

In an attempt to significantly reduce the number of smokers in the Netherlands, cabinet ministers are looking into the possibility of increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes to as much as 47 euros by 2040. 

Smokers in the Netherlands could face significantly higher prices

State Secretary of Public Health, Welfare, and Sport, Maarten van Ooijen, hopes to reduce the proportion of the Dutch population that smokes from around 20 percent in 2022 to just 7 percent in 2040 by dramatically increasing prices over the coming years.

Reports from The Hague confirm that Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet is looking to potentially gradually increase prices over the next 17 years, from the current rate of around 8 euros a pack to anywhere between 30 and 57 euros by 2040.

Van Ooijen’s plans are only the latest policy changes implemented by the Dutch government as part of the National Prevention Agreement, which outlines various health and welfare goals for the Netherlands over the coming decades. 

Dutch government works towards Prevention Agreement goals

Over the past few years, various measures have been taken in order to improve the overall health of the population of the Netherlands, including making all train stations across the country smoke-free and ensuring all cigarettes and rolling tobacco are sold in neutral brown packaging

The coalition agreement set out by Rutte’s current government already factors in a slight price increase for cigarettes sold in the Netherlands, from 8 euros to 10 euros a pack by 2025. In addition to this, from 2024, Dutch supermarkets will be banned from selling all cigarettes and tobacco products.

The National Prevention Agreement aims for a smoke-free generation by 2040 – meaning that no young person will smoke – and for the number of smokers to be reduced to just 5 percent of the population.

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