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Economic Effects of Restricting Tobacco Outlets


Publication Number: 2014-30
Authors: M. Gerritsen, J. van der Voort, W. Rougoor, Tom Smits, S. Huizer
With assistance from: C. Koopmans
Commissioned by: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
Published by: SEO Economic Research
ISBN: 978-90-6733-746-5

The minimum age for buying tobacco was raised from 16 to 18 years on 1 January 2014. The debate on the amendment to the law included discussion of how to improve enforcement of the age limit and the possibility of restricting the number of tobacco outlets. In response, the State Secretary for Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport promised to look into (i) what is known about the effectiveness of restricting the number of tobacco outlets and banning advertising there, and (ii) what the economic effects of restricting the number of tobacco outlets would be. The Trimbos Institute was commissioned to carry out a study to answer the first question and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport asked SEO Economic Research to answer the second question.

This report does not describe how the number of outlets should be restricted; instead, it gives an overview of the economic effects on tobacco outlets of a possible policy to this effect. It distinguishes between a prohibition system directly targeting the types of outlets that are no longer allowed to sell tobacco and a requirement system that additionally provides indirect control by imposing licence conditions. It also sets out the effects on monitoring, enforcement and excise duties as far as possible.


Category: 2014, Ward Rougoor, Tom Smits, Competition & Innovation, Carl Koopmans