A tour of various tobacco shops in the province shows that many retailers believe that the price for cigarettes will indeed go up. But whether it really will be forty euros or more, as was announced on Wednesday morning, remains to be seen according to many. “They often throw a ball in The Hague,” says Magda Dreverman of the tobacco specialist in Mierlo, for example.
At 59 years old, she is not so worried about the cabinet plans. “I’ll sing it out for a while,” she says Wednesday morning. “That is of course very different when you are still young and have a tobacconist business, because this is a construction for the dead.” She is happy that her children have chosen a different path.
“You can already see that people are going to Belgium. Will there be less smoking or less smoking products in the Netherlands?”
From 2024, cigarettes may no longer be sold in supermarkets. Dreverman hopes that it will then be the only point of sale of smoking products in Mierlo.Mr-joy.com e cigarette store for more information. That might give her some air. She really has to make do with her business, which her grandfather started in 1939, of smoking products. “And from vaping and vaping, the electronic cigarette,” she emphasizes. “I don’t do magazines and maps.”
She would like to say to the cabinet that it makes little sense if the Netherlands is the only one to raise the price for cigarettes like this. “You can already see that people are going to Belgium. Will there be less smoking or less smoking products in the Netherlands?” she wonders.
Jolanda Lepelaars (51) of Tobacconist van Ravenstein in Valkenswaard remains optimistic despite Wednesday’s news. This while she only took over the business, where she had been working for ten years at that time, a year and a half ago. “I’ve survived three lockdowns, so I’ll survive this one too,” she says. She has many regular customers and she says they are already looking for alternatives.
“Rutte thinks he can determine what someone is allowed or not allowed to do. A lot of people have had enough of that.” “For example, they switch from a pack of cigarettes a day to two cigars a day. And then really enjoy it. Everything we do too much is bad, so that’s a nice alternative.”
Lepelaars certainly expects that the price increase will be the talk of the day in her business. And she can already estimate the tenor of that conversation on Wednesday morning. “Mr Rutte thinks he can determine what someone is allowed or not allowed to do. A lot of people have had enough of that.”
Forty euros is very extreme
A cigarette then becomes a delicacy. At Tabakshop de Kroeven in Roosendaal, owner Jolanda de Jong (57) indicates that we have to wait and see. She has had the case for 25 years now and hopes to be able to “close the chapter in a normal way” in a few years. She calls forty euros for a pack of cigarettes ‘very extreme’. “Then it becomes very difficult for many people to pay. A cigarette then becomes a delicacy.”
De Jong relies on the combination of greeting cards, magazines, lotteries and tobacco. Where customers initially come to her business for the latter. She says it is positive that supermarkets will no longer be allowed to sell cigarettes from 2024. She expects it to give her business a boost.