These are the tobacco rules you must comply with

To further discourage smoking, the government is introducing more new tobacco regulations in 2024. These include a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes and online sales of tobacco. Excise duty has also gone up.

The Dutch government introduces more and more measures to reduce the number of smokers. Read below what that means for your business.

Measures in 2023-2024

Sales ban flavoured e-cigarettes

As of 1 January 2024, the sales of e-cigarettes and refill liquids is banned. Think flavours like menthol, apple, vanilla, strawberry, cherry, and mojito. E-cigarettes and refill liquids with tobacco flavour are still allowed. Manufacturing, importing, and sourcing flavoured e-cigarettes and refill liquids has been banned since 1 July 2023.

Ban on tobacco sales in supermarkets

To reduce the number of tobacco outlets, the sale of tobacco in supermarkets will be banned from 1 July 2024. The Netherlands has some 6,400 supermarkets (in 2023).

Higher excise duty on tobacco products

Due to an extra excise duty increase, cigarettes, cigars, and rolling tobacco are more expensive as of 1 April 2024. A pack of 20 cigarettes costs about 11 euros on average. That means a price increase of 0.60 euros. The excise tax for a 50-gram pack of tobacco has gone up to an average of about 24 euros. For cigars and cigarillos, the excise tax is 11 percent of the retail price.

Registration duty for tobacco sales outlets

The government plans to introduce a registration duty for sales outlets for tobacco and other smoking products in 2024.

Ban on remote smoking sales

A ban on remote sales of smoking goods has taken effect on 1 July 2023. The buyer and seller must now be present at the sale. You may no longer sell tobacco products online, by phone, by mail order or with an order form from a newspaper or magazine.

Measures introduced in 2020-2022

1. Excise duty increase

Cigarettes and rolling tobacco have been more expensive since 1 April 2020 due to an excise duty increase. The price of other smoking products has also increased.

2. Ban on sale of menthol cigarettes

The sale and manufacture of menthol cigarettes has been banned since 20 May 2020.

3. Display ban

The display ban (in Dutch) on smoking products came into force for supermarkets on 1 July 2020. That means you cannot visibly display cigarettes and other smoking products in display cases and displays. Frontage advertising for cigarette brands is also banned.

In addition to supermarkets, the display ban has applied to all other tobacco outlets, such as petrol stations, station kiosks and convenience stores, since 1 January 2021. There is an exception for tobacco shops. These must meet certain conditions (in Dutch).

4. Plain packaging

Cigarette packs must all have the same, neutral packaging since 1 October 2020. Branding via, for example, logos and fonts is not allowed. This is called 'plain packaging'. The deterrent pictures and warnings remain prominent on packs.

5. Businesses must close smoking rooms

Smoking areas in commercial buildings have been compulsorily closed since 1 January 2022. This applies to all buildings where people work or come for sports, culture, education or care, for example. On 1 July 2021, all smoking areas in (semi-)public and public buildings were compulsorily closed.

6. Ban on tobacco sales in catering industry

Selling tobacco through a cigarette or tobacco vending machine has been banned in the catering industry since 1 January 2022. Selling tobacco from behind the bar had long been prohibited for catering establishments with an alcohol licence.

7. Extending ban on tobacco advertising

Do you have a convenience store or outlet where you sell tobacco products, e-cigarettes and e-liquids, among other things? Then you are not allowed to advertise these in the shop and on the facade since 1 July 2022. Specialist tobacco shops (in Dutch) are still allowed to advertise in their shops.

Read more about the rules for tobacco sales