Getting rid of smoking? Netherlands is one of only four countries on track

The Netherlands has taken the lead in the fight against tobacco consumption, being one of the few to have adopted every recommended measure. 

The dangers of smoking tobacco are now both well-researched and well-known. And yet, it turns out that the Netherlands is one of only four countries that have taken all recommended actions to effectively reduce smoking, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

(Of course, we’re referring to smoking tobacco, not weed. 😉)

Advertising bans and health warnings on cigarettes

You might have noticed a few measures in the Netherlands recently, including bans on advertising, health warnings on cigarette packaging, and raised tobacco taxes. 

However, important behind-the-scenes measures were also launched, such as providing more help to smokers who want to quit.

As these measures were put into place in the last few years, the Netherlands, along with Mauritius, recently joined the club of top countries that are doing the most to reduce smoking. 

Who is the Netherlands standing next to today, in the fight against smoking? Along with Mauritius, Brazil and Turkey have also adopted every measure recommended by the WHO.

What are other countries doing about tobacco?

Although there are only four countries that have gone this far, it wouldn’t be fair to say that others aren’t doing anything. Today, 71% of the world’s population is protected by at least one measure aiming to control tobacco, which is five times more than in 2007.

In fact, eight other countries are sitting right behind the Netherlands, having adopted most of the recommended measures against tobacco consumption: Ethiopia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain. 

The fight hasn’t been won yet, though. To this day, smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death, killing 8.7 million people every year. In addition to this, 53 countries haven’t even completely banned smoking in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals.

READ MORE | Holy smokes! Flavoured e-cigarettes to be banned from Dutch markets starting October 2023

And now there’s a whole new issue: a lack of regulation of e-cigarettes. Ever walked around and got a puff of watermelon smoke in your face? Yep, that’s the one. 

Although 121 countries have adopted some measures, that still leaves many countries without any — including no minimum buying age. 

What measures against smoking would you like to see in your country? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi came to the Netherlands four years ago for her studies with two suitcases and without ever having been to the country or knowing much about it. Now, you can find her eating ‘bitterballen’ and fighting against the Dutch wind on her bike every day like a local. Naomi enjoys writing about what is going on around her alongside a warm cup of coffee.


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