Reducing the number and types of tobacco retail outlets in the Netherlands: Study protocol for a comprehensive mixed-methods policy evaluation

G.E. Nagelhout*, N.L. Poole, M. Metze, M.C. Willemsen, W. Vermeulen, F.A. van den Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Netherlands plans to ban tobacco sales in supermarkets in 2024. In a comprehensive policy evaluation, we aim to examine: 1) the impact of the policy on the number and types of tobacco outlets, 2) the impact on attitudes and behaviors of smoking adults and non-smoking youth, and 3) the influence of the tobacco industry on the policy process and the retail environment. In addition, our study focusses on differential effects in disadvantaged neighborhoods, where both smoking rates and tobacco outlet density are typically highest. This study brings together economic, psychological, and journalistic research methods. We investigate the impact of the new legislation on the number and type of tobacco outlets, and on the number of smokers by using routinely collected population monitoring data. We examine the impact of the legislation on smoking susceptibility of non-smoking youth and on impulse tobacco purchases by smoking adults with yearly quantitative surveys and with qualitative interviews and discussion sessions. We describe whether these impacts differ for disadvantaged versus non-disadvantaged neighborhoods. We investigate what strategies the tobacco industry uses to influence the new legislation, policy processes, and the tobacco retail environment by performing a journalistic investigation, by means of documents obtained by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, (possibly) leaked documents from insider meetings, and interviews with insiders. The methods of our evaluation can be used as a model for other comprehensive public policy evaluations. REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials ID NCT05554120, Protocol ID KWF140282021-2. ABBREVIATIONS FOIA: Freedom of Information Act. SES-WOA: socioeconomic scores of private households. MCID: minimal clinically important difference.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Number of pages11
JournalTobacco prevention & cessation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • tobacco policy evaluation
  • sales ban social class deprived
  • neighborhoods supermarkets


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