Netherlands to impose boring packaging on cigarettes from 2020

Cigarettes (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Kiwiev)Cigarettes (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Kiwiev)

From January 1st next year, the packages of cigarettes sold in the Netherlands will all have the same shape and neutral colors, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health announced as one of the measures meant to make smoking less attractive, NOS reports.

In addition to the usual health warnings, cigarette packages may only contain the name of the manufacturer and information about the type of cigarette. These same rules will apply to shag packaging, and from 2022 likely also to cigars and e-cigarettes. 

According to Blokhuis, cigarette manufacturers can currently still draw attention to their product with colors and logos, which makes tobacco more attractive to young people in particular.

The State Secretary also wants to extend the smoking ban from July 1st next year. Then electronic cigarettes will also be banned in the same public spaces as regular cigarettes, such as in restaurants and on the work floor. 

Smoking will also become more expensive. From next year a pack of 20 cigarettes will cost one euro more than now. In 2023 that can amount to 10 euros per package, according to NOS.

These measures form part of the Prevention Agreement, an agreement concluded between the government and social organizations and companies aimed at making Dutch people healthier.