Netherlands

Background

1 Jan 1990 – The Tobacco Use Reduction and Non-Smoker Protection Act of 10 March 1988 (Tobacco Act). It was limited to government buildings and to buildings and institutions in semi-public, state-financed fields like health care, education and social and cultural work.
In 2002 Parliament concluded that the results of private sector self-regulation fell far short of expectations. It decided to place private businesses directly within the Act. The resulting new provision of the Tobacco Act (Section 11a) entered into force on 1 January 2004. On the same date the Smoke-Free Workplace Exceptions Decree took effect. The most important exception in this Decree concerns the hospitality businesses (hotels, restaurants and pubs). Employers in the hospitality industry are exempt from the statutory requirement to ensure smokefree working environments for their employees. Self-regulation was used. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s new coalition took office in February 2007. The coalition agreement committed the government to working with the sector to make all hotels and catering establishments smokefree during its term of office.

Smokefree legislation/ initiatives

An amendment to tobacco legislation came into effect on 1 July 2008, banning smoking in hotels, restaurants and bars. Designated smoking rooms with no size restrictions are allowed. There was a lot of debate in Parliament about the borderline between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ before the legislation was finalised.

In January 2009, it is the Smokefree Partnership’s understanding that there are “problems” with the smoking ban, although these should not be exaggerated: a small group of small cafés (that find it difficult to create a smoking room) are trying to introduce an exemption for the law for small cafés (as in Spain and Denmark). On the 20 February 2009, the court of Groningen passed a judgment against a café that refused to comply with the ban: a € 1200 fine for repeatedly and openly violating the smoking ban. This is the first verdict since the law was introduced. The judgment stipulates that if the café violates the smoking ban again within the next year, it will be closed during one month. SFP anticipates that the café will lodge an appeal.

Smokefree resources available in 2009

STIVORO www.rokenendewet.nl (Dutch)
Tobacco Act (Dutch) www.stivoro.nl/Upload/artikel/Tabakswet/Besluit%20uitvoering%20rookvrije%20werkplek,%20horeca%20en%20andere%20ruimten.pdf
Smokefree Partnership www.smokefreepartnership.eu
European Network for Smoking Prevention www.ensp.org

First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Health Service Food and Human Resources: Duty free online cigarettes

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