Utrecht becomes first Dutch city to ban new tobacco stores (and that’s only the first step!)

As part of efforts towards creating a smoke-free generation in the Netherlands, no new tobacco shops will be allowed to open in Utrecht for at least the next year.

Making a head start in the nationwide race towards smoke-free cities is… Utrecht! 🥳 According to NOS, the municipality is the first Dutch city to outright ban new tobacco shops.

No cigarettes on your grocery run

Banning new tobacco stores isn’t the only change heading down the tracks, however.

Are you dying to pick up a box of cigarettes on your bi-weekly grocery run? Well, we have bad news for you as, from July 1, 2024 onwards, supermarkets across the Netherlands will not be allowed to sell tobacco products anymore.

Utrecht’s municipality hopes that banning new tobacco stores will also help prevent businesses from trying to dodge the upcoming law preventing supermarkets from selling tobacco.

A smoke-free city

Through these measures, Utrecht hopes that the city’s children will grow up smoke-free by at least 2035 and that a large chunk of the population will ditch the habit.

Alongside the new regulation, the city’s representatives are also pushing for a country-wide acceleration in efforts to reduce this unhealthy habit in the Netherlands. 

City alderman for Public Health, Eelco Eerenberg, along with representatives from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, urged the Netherlands’ state secretary in a letter to step on the gas on national efforts against smoking. 

READ MORE | Smoking weed in Amsterdam: ultimate guide [Updated 2023]

They are pushing for the adoption of a motion that will give Dutch municipalities more power to block new tobacco businesses by adjusting city zoning plans.

“In Utrecht, we have now taken a big step towards a smoke-free generation in 2035.” Eerenberg tells the NOS, “I am happy about that. But the fact is that Dutch municipalities, within the framework of the Tobacco and Smoking Products Act, currently have no legal options to limit the number of tobacco shops.”

What do you think about these latest measures to curb smoking? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
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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