Netherlands bans sale of all nicotine pouches

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government on Friday said it would ban the sale of all types of nicotine pouches in the Netherlands, while widening the rules for tobacco to include all other types of tobacco-free nicotine products.

The government said the ban would make it easier to uphold the rules regarding nicotine pouches, which are currently only allowed if they contain less than 0.035 grammes of nicotine.

The new rules will also prohibit the use of nicotine pouches and other tobacco-free nicotine products in places where smoking is not allowed.

The government said it would also end all advertising for tobacco-free nicotine products, a segment that is seen as very important for tobacco companies as they try to move away from health-harming cigarettes and eventually become smoke-free.

"The tobacco industry keeps launching new products that make it easy for young people to come into contact with nicotine," health deputy minister Maarten van Ooijen said in a statement.

"This is bad, because nicotine is addictive and harmful. That's why I'm glad we will now treat these products the same as tobacco products," he said.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Mark Porter)