Dutch Shops Fined for Selling E-cigarettes to Minors
30 shops in Amsterdam, Netherlands were fined by the Dutch Food Safety Inspectors for selling e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18.
A 17-year-old tester visited 51 souvenir shops, smart shops, and mini-markets to determine whether they could purchase e-cigarettes. They were able to successfully buy e-cigarettes in 60% of the locations. Fines for selling e-cigarettes to minors ranged from €1,360 (around 9970 Chinese yuan) to €9,000 (around 65,000 Chinese yuan), depending on the size of the store. If the store violates the law three times in one year, they may be banned from selling tobacco products. Most of the stores did not ask for age verification before selling e-cigarettes.
Last month, the Dutch government announced plans to expand current smoking legislation to include e-cigarettes from July 1st and to completely ban flavored tobacco products for e-cigarettes. These measures aim to reduce the appeal of smoking to young people. A study earlier this year by the Trimbos Addiction Clinic found that 27% of young people aged 12-16 have used e-cigarettes, and 44% of vocational and university students have also used them. Trimbos also stated that there is growing evidence that they are becoming a gateway to tobacco, particularly due to their appealing flavors and low cost to young people.
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