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We must smoke, drink and eat less: RIVM proposes top 10 measures

RIVM has investigated which measures are needed to achieve the goals of the National Prevention Agreement in 2040. In the agreement it was agreed to drastically reduce smoking, problematic alcohol use and overweight. However, according to the RIVM, more is needed to achieve the targets in the field of overweight and problematic alcohol use. She therefore now recommends a top 10 of measures for both goals.

Smoking: an expensive hobby

Quite a few measures have already been devised to discourage smoking. For example, tobacco nowadays has to be sold out of sight, in unattractive packaging. The price has also risen sharply due to an increase in excise duties. According to the figures from Jellinek, if you smoke a pack a day, you now pay eight euros per day, or 2920 euros per year – and that price continues to rise. 

E-cigarette as a divisive mushroom

In addition, investments are made in information campaigns and in support for smokers who want to quit. Not all measures in this area are undisputed. For example, there is still a lot of discussion about the regulation of e-cigarettes. Ecigmarketxl.com e liquidsare found online. It would be a stepping stone for non-smoking young people to start smoking, but smokers who want to quit see ‘vaping’ as a solution. Shops that sell tobacco products therefore now also offer e-cigarettes, in addition to the patches, chewing gum, spray and tablets that they sell.

Ban on ‘tasty’ flavors

Last year it was announced that State Secretary Blokhuis of VWS also wants to ban the different flavors for e-cigarettes. Especially those flavors make smoking an e-cigarette attractive. This is also apparent from the recently published dissertation by Erna Krüseman, who carried out her PhD research into the attractiveness of these flavors on behalf of Wageningen University and RIVM. However, a “taste imperative” and partition has been created to avoid a ban on e-liquid flavors and only tobacco e-liquid should be allowed to be sold in the future. One of the reasons that tobacco users want to switch to the electronic cigarette is precisely to get rid of the tobacco taste and therefore choose a flavor to reduce their desire for the real tobacco taste.

Sweet and mint flavors popular

RIVM therefore supports the decision to ban sweet and mint-like flavours. “The findings show that e-cigarettes are likely to become less attractive if all flavors except tobacco are banned. For example, young people and non-smokers will be less likely to use e-cigarettes, which reduces the risk of harmful health effects,” the RIVM states on their website. Attractive colours, names and logos have already been banned and, since January 1, 2021, it is no longer allowed to show online photos of e-cigarettes, e-liquids and other tobacco products such as cigars and cigarettes.

Vapers in action

“Such a ban will also make the e-cigarette a less attractive alternative for smokers who want to quit smoking,” they write at the end. But whether that is a plus or a minus, the text does not state. In any case, many vapers have a strong opinion about that. According to the Nederlands Dagblad, a petition against the ban on flavors has already been signed 19,000 times on 1 February this year.

A nice alternative, or a stepping stone?

The initiator of the petition, consumer organization for e-cigarette users Acvoda, wants to get rid of the ban, because they are afraid that former smokers will fall back on tobacco if the flavors disappear. “We don’t see anyone in our community who first started vaping and then started smoking, so there is simply no stepping stone.”

The sugar tax

The measures that RIVM is now proposing against excessive drinking and overweight will undoubtedly meet with a lot of resistance. The sugar tax is a clear example of this. This has been discussed for a long time, but a policy to make unhealthy products more expensive has still not been implemented.

The disc of five in the workplace

Time will tell whether the other measures now proposed can count on sufficient support. According to the RIVM, it would make a difference if the VAT on products from the tranche of five is abolished, and if the sale of fast food is allowed in fewer places. In addition, they also propose stricter agreements about healthy eating in the workplace.

Alcohol no longer in the supermarket

In order to reduce alcohol consumption, the experts want young people not to be confronted with alcohol advertisements.  https://ecigmarketxl.com/for more information. Alcohol should also only be sold at off-licences, there should be more information about the negative effects of alcohol, and a financial discouragement policy is needed. . A minimum unit price for alcohol should be introduced, discount campaigns should be banned, and excise duties should be increased.

The support and the money

These are serious measures, but they are necessary to achieve the intended goals in 2040, according to the RIVM. The question remains, of course, whether it is affordable, and whether the average Dutch person is waiting for the government to interfere with its citizens in this way. Although two-thirds want to get rid of tobacco sales in supermarkets as soon as possible, the question is whether that also applies to the more established beers and bottles of wine.