Youth Smoking Prevention has one clear goal: banish tobacco from society and make smoking history. The only way to do this is to stop new smokers coming onto the scene. For this reason, Youth Smoking Prevention would like to encourage the government to implement a number of measures that, when combined, will result in an effective prevention policy:
• a substantial increase in excise tax to make tobacco inaccessible to children
A packet of cigarettes should cost at least €10, putting cigarettes out of reach of most children. In Australia, a packet of cigarettes already costs more than €20, in France since October 2020 about €10 and in the United Kingdom over €10. In the Netherlands, a packet costs on average €8.
• reduction in the number of sales outlets
With almost 20,000 points of sale, tobacco is far too easy to get hold of and compliance with the age limit cannot be checked. Tobacco must be removed from supermarkets, drugstores, bookstores and only sold under licence by specialised tobacco shops. It has now been decided that supermarkets must stop selling tobacco by 2024. Petrol stations and other shops are allowed to continue selling tobacco until 2030. Youth Smoking Prevention advocates that this happens faster.
• enforcement of the age limit for tobacco purchase
It should be impossible for young people under 18 to buy tobacco
Measures already implemented
Several measures also advocated by Youth Smoking Prevention have been implemented:
• tobacco free schoolyards
Since August 2020, schools are obliged to have smoke-free schoolyards. This applies to primary and secondary schools, vocational schools and higher education. Children who see others smoking are more likely to start themselves. Therefore, smoke-free schoolyards are an important means to prevent young people from taking up smoking.
• keep smoking materials out of sight of customers at points of sale
A wall full of cigarette packets is an advertisement for tobacco. Tobacco advertising is prohibited, so tobacco products must no longer be displayed visibly in shops. From 1 July 2020, this will be prohibited in supermarkets. As of 1 January 2021, other shops selling tobacco also have to comply with the display ban. There is an exception for tobacco shops that only sell tobacco.
Articles of association
The Articles of Association of the Youth Smoking Prevention Foundation were adopted when the foundation was established on 31 March 2009.