The aim of the Belgian government is to dim the appeal of tobacco products among young people, Source: Depositphotos

Belgian supermarkets will not sell cigarettes from 2025

Belgian supermarkets will not sell cigarettes from 2025

The ban will also apply to festivals, however, the Horeca sector is spared...for now

Yesterday, Belgium’s Health Ministry announced drastic measures aimed to combat smoking and the open sale of cigarettes and tobacco products.

The horizon for such measures has been shortened and now, starting from 1 January 2025, Belgian supermarkets (larger than 400 m2) and festivals will not be able to sell cigarettes anymore.

What’s more, any other establishment that engages in the sale of cigarettes, vapes or similar tobacco products will not have the permission to display them in a visible manner to customers. Such products should be placed in a separate room or stored in a drawer or cabinet so as not to be exposed. 

Other anti-tobacco measures

Initially, the Belgian government’s plan was to start instituting more severe anti-tobacco restrictions by 2028, however, recent statistics showed that the country is lagging behind its own objectives for tobacco-use reduction on national scale.

The government wants to reduce daily tobacco use to 10% of the population by 2028 and to 5% by 2040 – ambitions that Sciensano (the country’s institute for health) predicted would be far overshot. And at the current rate would only be achieved by 2040.

That’s why, the authorities came up with the updated catalogue of measures to kill the appeal of smoking, especially among the younger generation.

In addition, the price of cigarettes will go up by 2 euros due to increased excise duties. Merchants will have the obligation to ask for ID verification from any customer visibly under 25 when selling them tobacco products.

The list of public spaces where smoking will be illegal is expanded to include sports fields and nearby areas, as well as near entrances of libraries and healthcare establishments. Last year, that list was compiled to include amusement parks, animal parks and playgrounds – in general, the kind of spots that attract kids and teenagers.

The nightlife and catering establishment sector, however, was spared somewhat. Initially, bars, cafes and restaurants were also targeted as spots where sale and consumption of cigarettes at their outdoor terraces was to be banned. It will still be allowed but in a way that is not easily visible.



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