Ban on sale of e-cigarettes to minors

The sale of electronic cigarettes to young people under the age of 18 is to be banned, regardless of whether or not they contain nicotine. This prohibition also will also apply to shisha pens. Furthermore, advertising for e-cigarettes will no longer permitted. The cabinet has approved these measures in response to the proposal by the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport, Martin van Rijn. This amendment to the Tobacco Act is expected to enter into effect in May 2016.

More harmful than previously thought

Research by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has revealed that e-cigarettes are more harmful than previously thought. ‘I would like to achieve two goals with this ban,’ said Mr Rijn. ‘First, I want to protect young people from the harm that e cigarettes can do to their bodies. In addition, I want to stop e-cigarettes and shisha pens, with their trendy colours and packaging, from leading young people to believe that smoking is normal. We need to nip that idea in the bud.’

Packaging and information requirements

The bill contains proposals for packaging and information requirements. These rules mainly entail responsibilities for the industry and are intended to provide users with greater clarity . Health warnings will be placed on the packaging, there will be safety requirements for the products, as well as an information leaflet containing user information, and the industry will have to research and record the harmful effects of its products.

Smoking is bad for your health

Smoking and passive smoking are bad for your health. For this reason, the government is pursuing a policy of discouraging the use of tobacco products in order to reduce the number of smokers in the Netherlands, to protect passive smokers against tobacco smoke and to prevent young people from starting smoking.

The cabinet has agreed to submit the Bill to the Council of State for an advisory opinion. The text of the Bill and the Council of State’s advisory opinion will be published when they are presented to the House of Representatives.