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Belgium to ban tobacco sales to under 18s

Selling tobacco to under 18s will be prohibited from November. Credit: © Belga

A ban on tobacco sales to minors will come into effect at the start of November, putting Belgian regulations in line with those in place in a majority of European Union countries.

Adopted before the start of the summer, the new regulations will raise the legal buying age for tobacco products from 16 to 18, according to BX1.

The new measure targets all tobacco-based products, including cigarettes and loose tobacco but also electronic cigarettes and CBD-based products.

Salespoints who are found still selling these products to youth under 18 will be faced with a fine, which will start at 200 euro and reach up to 2,000 euro if the shops are found to be in repeated violation of the measure.

A study carried out between 2013 and 2018 by the Université Catholique de Louvain showed that 18% of youth between 14 and 16-years-old smoked at least once a week, and that 12% among them were daily smokers.

The new regulations come as authorities tighten the rules around the use of tobacco in the presence of minors.

A separate measure announced on Friday will make it a punishable offence to smoke in the presence of those aged or under 16.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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