Lidl stops selling cigarettes, tobacco with immediate effect
Lidl will completely stop selling cigarettes and tobacco starting immediately. The supermarket chain previously indicated that it was phasing out the sale of smoking products and that it wanted to be the first supermarket in the Netherlands to stop offering tobacco. That process has now been completed.
Lidl previously joined the movement 'towards a smoke-free generation'. This is an initiative of the Hartstichting, KWF and Longfonds and aims to give children to grow up smoke-free.
Lidl's decision to stop selling tobacco dates back to 2018. At the time, the supermarket said that cigarettes and tobacco had to be removed from all branches by 2022 at the latest. In the end Lidl, which currently has 440 stores in the Netherlands, succeeded a little earlier than expected.
"After announcing this move in 2018, we started to phase out the sale of cigarettes and tobacco," explained a spokeswoman. "All branches that we have opened in recent years were smoke-free from the start. The phasing out in the other branches went well and this gave us the opportunity to realize our ambition to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco even earlier."
A general ban on supermarkets selling cigarettes is also coming, the cabinet announced last year. From 2024, supermarkets in the Netherlands will no longer be allowed to sell cigarettes. And a year earlier, the sale of tobacco via the internet will be banned. Smokers can then only go to gas stations, specialist shops and other shops, for example where magazines are sold.
In this way, the government wants to protect young people and former smokers better against the temptation of smoking and prevent impulse purchases. Previously, cigarettes, shag, cigars and e-cigarettes were removed from view at supermarkets for the same reason. Many people die every year through smoking or secondhand smoke, if you inhale the smoke of others. This involves an estimated 20,000 people per year.
Lidl's announcement coincides with the start of 'Stoptober'. Like every year, the month of October is dominated by the fight against smoking for thousands of people. From Friday they will try to stop smoking for four weeks, and then keep it up.
Reporting by ANP.