Cigarettes are designed to maximise the appeal of starting to smoke. Smoking is addictive, making it hard for people to quit once they have started. Smoking is by far the most harmful and deadly lifestyle factor. More than one-fifth of adults in the Netherlands smoke and hundreds of young people become addicted to smoking every week. The National Prevention Agreement lays down targets for a healthier Netherlands by 2040. A key target is achieving a smoke-free generation: 0% of children and pregnant women and less than 5% of Dutch people aged 18 and over smoke. Measures designed to contribute to this include higher sales taxes on tobacco and smoking products, fewer points of sale and making it easier to quit smoking. Modifications to cigarettes may also make smoking less appealing to young people. This fact sheet describes how imposing tighter restrictions on the appearance and composition of cigarettes can serve to make them less appealing and addictive.

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    RIVM conducts research on the harmful effects of the use of tobacco and nicotine products. What impact has smoking on health, what makes tobacco and nicotine products attractive and addictive? RIVM aims to support global tobacco policymaking and enforcement of tobacco regulation.