Dutch train stations to be totally smoke-free
The rail infrastructure manager ProRail wants to make all train stations in the Netherlands totally smoke-free. Currently, the passengers can smoke only in the special zones located at the stations. In two years these areas will be removed and smoking will be completely forbidden at the Dutch railway stations.
ProRail explained its important decision by the numerous complaints of the non-smoking passengers. The researches also show the increasing support for the establishment of smoke-free platforms over the past ten years. “Everyone must be able to stay at the station without having to stand in someone else’s smoke,” the ProRail’s press officer Jaap Eikelboom told to the ‘De Telegraaf’ newspaper.
The intention of the rail infrastructure manager is in accordance with the National Prevention Agreement launched in the Netherlands in November 2018. The document provides three ambitious goals to improve the population’s health by 2040: striving for the smoke-free generation, preventing the overweight and reducing alcohol consumption. As a result of this programme, 9 billion Euros in healthcare spending will be reduced.
A smoking ban has been implemented in the Netherlands on 1 January 2004. The prohibition is active in the hotel and catering industry as well as around public spaces such as schoolyards, playgrounds and sports grounds. The government buildings have become completely smoke-free. Smoking was prohibited at the station halls, stairs, lifts, tunnels and covered stations. ProRail, for its part, has banned smoking for its staff in all offices. In the rail sector, there was made an exception for smoking in the special zones at the railway stations. In two years they will be removed. Now, ProRail is negotiating with the rail sector on how to introduce the total smoking ban.