Plea to make tobacco possession in under-16s a criminal offence
The association of petrol station owners, BETA, and the tobacconists' association, NSO, have called on the under-16s in the Netherlands to be punished if they are caught with tobacco products.
Any shopkeeper caught selling tobacco products to someone underage faces a fine of 450 euros, but the sellers want punishment to be dealt out to both sides. As of this moment, minors caught with tobacco products are not officially reprimanded.
These calls have followed European Commission plans to force tobacco companies to include terrifying images of the effects of smoking on their products.
This coming Wednesday the Dutch parliament will vote on a proposal to increase the legal age for purchasing alcohol from 16 to 18, and a similar proposal is being considered for tobacco products.
Note that last year it was also made a criminal offence for under-16s to be in possession of alcohol.