Netherlands could raise price of cigarette packs to €47 by 2040
The Dutch government is considering increasing the price of cigarettes to between 30 and 47 euros per package in 2040, sources close to the Cabinet told De Telegraaf. State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen of Public Health is following Australia's example, where a pack of cigarettes costs about 24 euros, hoping that the unaffordable prices will have a deterring effect.
In the Netherlands, cigarettes currently cost about 8 euros per package. The Rutte IV government wants to increase that to 10 euros per pack, according to the coalition agreement.
But Van Ooijen wants to go much further. Scientific research showed that financial incentives to quit smoking only make sense with a huge price increase. A recent study by Maastricht University showed, for example, that half of smokers will only quit once a pack costs 60 euros or more.
The massive price hike is one step in the government's plan to achieve a "smoke-free generation" by 2040, as set down in the National Prevention Agreement of 2018. The government wants only 5 percent of Netherlands residents to smoke by 2040. Now about 20 percent are smokers.