High Rates of Smoking

America demonizes the tabacco industry and smoking for good reason; smoking causes severe health effects to not only the smoker but those around the smoker.

Why do so many people smoke in the Netherlands? I’ve noticed that many people smoke cigarettes especially in the streets. The first time I noticed this was on my way to McDonalds on my second day here. There were just large numbers of people smoking on the side of the street and others smoking while walking.

This confuses me a little because of the plain packaging laws in the Netherlands. Cigarette packages are covered in the negative effects associated with smoking accompanied by unpleasant pictures rather than a branded box. These have been linked to decreasing the amount of people that smoke in many countries that implement these laws. While the Netherlands implements these laws, they also have cigarette machines in hotels, resturants, bars, etc. which increases the amount of people that smoke.

These two variables should cancel each other, or nearly, so why is the number of people that smoke so much higher here than in the United States?


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