Toast at the hairdresser and between the nibbles

A new cabinet means a new coalition agreement. In the new coalition agreement, room has been made for the possibility of implementing 'blurring'. The intended blurring measure means that you can serve alcohol in the supermarket or drink a glass of alcohol at the hairdresser. While we are per year at an alcohol loss of 2.3 to 2.4 billion euros per year and we agree together that we must work on prevention. How about that?

In the National Prevention Agreement, efforts are being made to achieve a smoke-free generation, to combat overweight and to reduce alcohol problems. How exactly does a measure such as 'blurring' fit into this? The reason for this is stated that 'blurring' is a way to support the retail sector and shopping streets that have been severely affected by the corona measures in recent years.

The Alcohol Act

Blurring is the combination of different business models such as catering, retail and/or liquor store. It allows mixing formulas. The Alcohol Act now separates those formulas, so that both seller and customer are not under the influence of alcohol and therefore give wrong advice or make impulse purchases. Or worse, driving under the influence.

Blurring does not fit into a healthy society

It is hardly news that not everyone is in favor of this initiative. Ninette van Hassel, Head of the Expertise Center for Alcohol at the Trimbos Institute, also sees the blurring measure as undermining the National Prevention Agreement. Ninette: “We are concerned. This does not fit in a healthy environment that we want to create together. In addition, blurring normalizes that alcohol belongs to all situations, while you prefer it to belong to special occasions. It also increases the visibility of alcohol, which is not a good signal to children. And people with a strong addiction find it complicated enough not to walk past all those scraps with alcohol in the supermarket. Never mind being offered a drink in a place you hadn't thought of."

As a support for entrepreneurs

Before the corona crisis, we were already dealing with vacancy in the city center and since the corona crisis, it has only become more difficult for entrepreneurs. One reason for introducing the blurring measure is therefore to make inner cities more attractive. But Ninette sees it differently. She finds this solution far from sustainable. “With blurring you may give an economic impulse to inner cities, but you cause damage to public health: economic policy versus health policy. How do you design the city of the future and how do you ensure, for example, that people can meet each other there? You need a coherent vision for that, and that seems to be lacking.”

Main goals National Prevention Agreement 2040

*Smoke Free Generation

*A maximum of 38% of the adult Dutch is then overweight (now about 50%)

*Young people and pregnant women no longer drink alcohol

*The number of Dutch adults who drink too much alcohol has then fallen to a maximum of 5% (is

now 8.8%).


Measuring with two sizes

The National Prevention Agreement, and the resulting increasing number of local prevention agreements, show how important it is to take good care of yourself. The goals set in 2040 in the National Prevention Agreement will not be achieved in this way. Ninette: “How do you explain that to a sports canteen that asks you not to donate more when there are youth, while that is allowed in shops? If we want the costs of alcohol damage to decrease and to reduce drinking, this requires consistent policy.”






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