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Dutch retailers want cigarette possession by under-16s to be fining offence

| February 28, 2013

Tobacconists and petrol station owners in the Netherlands are calling on parliament to make it a criminal offence for the under-16s to be in possession of tobacco products, according to an Expatica.com story quoting the Telegraaf.

Shopkeepers caught selling cigarettes to youngsters face a fine of €450 but the youngsters get off scot-free, the retailers argue.

‘The youngsters get away with it,” Edsko Schuitema, of petrol station owner lobby group Beta was quoted as saying. “But why should the responsibility not be shared?”

Meanwhile, Gert Koudijs, of the tobacconist shop owners’ association, NSO, said that the only way to stop 14-year-olds from buying cigarettes was to fine them for possession.

Dutch MPs are considering plans to increase the age at which teenagers can buy cigarettes from 16 to 18, following industry calls for an increase.

On January 1, it became a criminal offence punishable by fines for under-16-year-olds to be in possession of alcohol.

Category: Breaking News

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