Smoke-free Areas Must Become "New Normal"

From 1 August Smoking on All School and University Premises Prohibited

From 1 August Smoking on All School and University Premises Prohibited

The hazy days of smokers clustering in front of university entrances while the rest of us have to cough our way through the fumes are over - from 1 August, 2020, smoking in school and university areas throughout the Netherlands will be prohibited by law. This means that all school premises, including the outside areas at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' campuses in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam, must be completely smoke-free.  

"At Wittenborg we are committed to creating a smoke-free and healthy environment and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. We hope this new policy will meet its goal of a smoke-free generation," Wittenborg wrote in a statement to students and staff.  

"The ban on smoking applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. People who wish to smoke or vape are requested to do so off the school premises from 1 August onwards.

"This policy applies to everyone on school grounds, with no exceptions. We kindly request you to adhere to the law and not smoke on Wittenborg's school premises from 1 August, 2020. Getting used to the new policy will take some time, but together we can ensure that smoke-free school premises become the new normal."

Meanwhile, the number of young people smoking between the ages of 20 – 24 in the Netherlands is unfortunately not decreasing, the Trimbos Institute said in a statement this week. Between 2014 – 2019 their numbers have stayed the same at 31%. This, while those between the ages of 25 – 29 have seen a significant drop in smokers in the same period from 26% to 22%.  

It seems that the 20 – 24 group is particularly hard to reach. "This is worrisome because without help stopping often fails," said Marc Willemsen of the Institute. "And in addition this is often the group targeted by the tobacco industry in its marketing campaigns, such as via social media influencers."

The ban was published in the Government Gazette which can be read in full here.

WUP 17/7/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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