State secretary warns supermarkets not to use tricks to circumvent national ban on tobacco sales
State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen (Public Health) is urging supermarkets not to look for "clever tricks" to be able to continue selling tobacco after the national ban on supermarket sales comes into force on July 1 next year. He supports municipalities like Utrecht that prohibit entrepreneurs from opening new tobacco stores.
With the ban, Utrecht is counting on national laws and regulations banning the sale of cigarettes in supermarkets from July 1, 2024. The municipality fears supermarkets will renovate their stores to create a new entrance so they can get around the law and continue selling cigarettes. "We really shouldn't want a new tobacco store to open near a supermarket or even in a supermarket building through a back door, as happened in Utrecht," Van Ooijen said in response to the Utrecht decision.
The State Secretary expects supermarkets to "fulfill their social responsibility" since they signed the national prevention agreement. He also expects "all supermarkets to comply with the elaborated laws and regulations and not to use undesirable constructions."
In March, the Tweede Kamer asked the Cabinet to give municipalities additional powers to limit the establishment of new tobacco stores. The initiator of the motion, PvdA MP Mohammed Mohandis, believes that the motion should now be implemented quickly. Together with CDA MP Anne Kuik, he was already concerned about the shift in tobacco sales.
Mohandis calls the action of the city of Utrecht a "nice development in response to our motion." Kuik considers it an "important step towards a smoke-free generation." "Hopefully more municipalities will follow," Kuik shared on Twitter.
Belangrijke stap in opmaat naar een #rookvrijegeneratie! Hopelijk volgen er meer gemeentes.— Anne Kuik (@AnneKuik) June 9, 2023
Samen met @EvavanEsch eerder deze motie ingediend, om het aantal tabaksverkooppunten te reguleren en terug te dringen.
👉🏻 https://t.co/RlGhrxTgR8 https://t.co/zgzvEYdUAp
Reporting by ANP