Is a worldwide ban on tobacco sales on the horizon?

Photo: Spar University

Cigarettes have become an increasingly rare sight on store shelves, with several chains choosing to stop tobacco sales voluntarily. In the United States, Beverly Hills even is the first place to ban the selling of tobacco altogether.


Spar University: sex over cigarettes

Dutch retail chain Spar University has become another retailer to stop selling cigarettes (following the likes of Kruidvat and Lidl): the convenience stores on university campuses will no longer offer tobacco products. The chain announced its decision with the provocative slogan "stop smoking, start shagging".


"Terminating the sale of smoking products on college and university grounds is a fitting first step towards a smoke-free generation", Spar University states. The chain had been receiving a growing amount of requests from universities and colleges to stop the selling of tobacco, as a number of these institutions are striving to become completely smoke-free by August 2020. 


No more cigarettes in Beverly Hills

On the other hand, the Californian city of Beverly Hills is the first municipality to ban the selling of tobacco entirely, RetailWire reports. The ban (even including e-cigarettes) was approved unanimously, making it illegal from 2021 onward for neighbourhood stores, drugstores, gas stations, grocery stores or supermarkets to sell smoking products.


Opponents argue that some retailers will be losing 45 % of their monthly turnover and lose customers to neighbouring municipalities, where tobacco will still be available. Still, similar rules are being considered by other Californian municipalities.


In Belgium, a proposal has just passed which outlaws the selling of cigarettes and tobacco to minors, however it is unclear when the new law will come into force.