Last week, the Dutch government announced that an upcoming proposal to introduce plain packaging for e-cigarettes would also include a similar proposal for all cigars.

If the rules go into effect, they will be similar to other plain packaging requirements like those in Australia and Ireland. The distinctive packaging used for cigars—both bands and boxes—would be replaced with single-color packaging that removes anyway for a consumer to tell what brand the cigar is outside of the printed text.

The proposal from the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport says the changes are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025, though the European Cigar Manufacturers Association (ECMA) says that there could be a transition period that delays the rules for cigars to a later date. The proposal will still need to be approved by the Dutch parliament.

This move is not all that surprising. In 2019, the country banned the use of foil packaging for tobacco products. In 2022, government leaders began discussing the introduction of plain packaging for cigars and e-cigarettes.

“As niche and occasionally consumed products, cigars play no part in smoking initiation of young Dutch people with also less and less adults connoisseurs consuming them,” said the ECMA in a press release. “While excluded from the scope of plain packaging, no increase of consumption has been observed in the Netherlands or in other countries with cigars continuing their downward declining trend. For these reasons, ECMA will continue to vigorously make the case that the introduction of plain packaging for cigars in parallel with e-cigarettes is greatly inappropriate and unjustified.”

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.