Thirty alcohol experts criticise ‘champagne hairdresser’ plans

28 January 2022

Thirty academics and experts have criticised the Dutch government for plans to ‘blur’ alcohol laws so that entrepreneurs in shopping areas can combine retail and catering services, for example, serving champagne at bookstores or at hairdresser’s.

According to the experts, this so-called ‘blurring’ is contrary to the recommendations of the World Health Organization and RIVM public health institute, who suggest that limiting availability is one of the most effective means of preventing people drinking alcohol. Many scientific studies support these recommendations.

Three years ago consulting firm Berenschot (2019) inventoried the available scientific studies into blurring. The results of their analyses are crystal clear. Blurring has negative effects on public health, road safety and public order. Furthermore, the positive economic effects are not yet clear.

The experts conclude that blurring with alcohol does not fit in with the aims of the current National Prevention Agreement to reduce problematic alcohol use by 2040, with measures such as discouraging drinking in sports cafes and at universities.

Sources: and


Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
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