The Dutch Ban Tobacco Products, E-Cigs From Being Displayed in Public


by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: January 18, 2021

netherlands band e cigarettes

The Dutch government recently implemented a nationwide ban on public displays of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in all retail outlets. The move comes a year after the Dutch government promised a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products in the country.

The flavor ban was announced last summer and will most likely go into effect in the first half of 2021. The flavor ban and the ban on public displays in retail stores are a two-step approach to combating youth vaping in the country.

One recent study found that over a quarter of young people in the Netherlands had tried an electronic cigarette at least once in their lives.

The Specifics of the Ban

The ban on public displays of all tobacco products in retail spaces is a common anti-smoking tactic. The Netherlands’ ban follows the same rules as other bans on public displays of tobacco products in stores. The new law in the Netherlands – which took effect on January 1st, 2021 – states that

  • Tobacco products must not be visible in any way in either physical or online stores
  • Even the colors or outlines of tobacco products must not be visible
  • The areas containing these products must be color neutral
The ban even applies to online stores, where images of tobacco products and tobacco-like products (i.e., e-cigarettes, vaping devices) cannot be shown explicitly. Smoking and vaping accessories like lighters, ashtrays, grinders, etc., can be put on display. Specialist tobacco and smoking stores can apply for an exemption from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority to display their products in public.

Who Does the Ban Affect?

The ban affects all physical and online retailers that sell tobacco products and similar vaping devices. This means that places as wide-ranging as:

  • Bars and restaurants
  • Pharmacies
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Internet cafes
Basically, any place or location that sells tobacco products, including individual kiosks and tobacco vending machines, including online shops and retailers.

When Will The Ban Happen?

The ban on all public retail displays of tobacco products went nationwide in January of 2021. January 19th is the ban comment deadline! Say what you feel need to say following the Urgent Call to Action for Flavour ban.

When the ban was announced – in the summer of 2020 – it immediately went into effect at all Netherlands’ supermarkets.

Still, the government allowed all retail spaces another six months to adjust to the ban and ensure that they complied with the law by the beginning of the new year

Published: January 18, 2021

Jeffrey Buckley

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.