De Rookvrije Generatie

Wanda de Kanter

The Tobacco-Free Generation

In the Netherlands, every day some 100 adolescents become addicted to cigarettes. These new smokers fill the gap left by the 25% of smokers who die before reaching retirement age. The State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands, the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG), and the Dutch Cancer Society, Lung Foundation and Heart Foundation all support the concept of a tobacco-free generation. The concept is that, by applying public health interventions and restriction of tobacco accessibility through price hikes, in the near future none of the children in the Netherlands born in 2017 and beyond will take up smoking. This appealing plan can be phased in gradually, reaching full implementation by 2035. That gives politicians time to take evidence-based measures. The roadmap for this ‘tobacco endgame’ starts today with tobacco-free conception and pregnancy, and will follow the life of a child from then on. In this comment, I discuss the concept of a tobacco-free generation and focus on the responsibility of the government to take effective measures.

Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.