One in six supermarkets, tabacs and night-shops still sell cigarettes too cheaply and hasn’t cut-back on publicity for tobacco products. This is according to the results of 1,000 checks done last year by the SPF (Services Publics Fédéraux) for Public Health. “Cigarette producers play with people’s health”, says Paul Van Den Meerssche, from the Tobacco Control Service. His words appeared in the Nieuwsblad, Het Belang von Limburg and Gazet van Antwerpen on Monday.
In the outlets checked, “packets of cigarettes are often packaged in two, which means they can be sold at a lower price. Which is not allowed”, he adds.
Last year, the Tobacco Control Service and the SPF for Public Health handed out 31 fines to redistributors, for a total sum of 60,000 euros.
Cigarette sale techniques seem to work as the number of young smokers isn’t going down. “Around 15% of 12 to 18 year olds still smoke regularly”, says Mac Michils, from the Flemish branch of the League against Cancer. It wants packets of cigarettes put where consumers can’t see them in outlets.