The Drenthe provincial authorities officially banned smoking and vaping at bus shelters and bus stops at their meeting last week.
The ban does not carry a criminal penalty, and there is no clarity on how it will be enforced, however police are not going to be involved.
The Drenthe Mobility Council, which comprises provincial and municipal bodies, pushed for the regulation as part of its contribution to the Smoke-Free Generation campaign. Passengers who do not want to or cannot stand in tobacco smoke can thus travel unhindered by public transport. Last Friday, deputy Nelleke Vedelaar and alderman Raymond Wanders of the municipality of Emmen opened the first smoke-free stop in Emmen.
Hundreds of bus stops
Last week’s resolution provides a framework: which bus shelters are going to be smoke-free and what timeline the province hopes to achieve them.
In total, 922 bus stops will be designated smoke-free outdoor public transit waiting area — first the larger stops (5000 passengers per year) followed by the smaller ones. Within two years, smoking will be prohibited in all of the province’s bus shelters. Within the next few weeks, information leaflets will be available in all buses and coaches. Eventually, No Smoking signs will be put up on all the shelters in the province.
Chairman of the Mobility Council Nelleke Vedelaar says: “The Drenthe Mobility Council is committed to travel safety for all Drenthe residents, especially when it concerns attention to health. It is extremely important that everyone in Drenthe can travel without potential risks to health.”
Alderman Raymond Wanders agrees: “In Emmen we strive for a smoke-free generation. We do this in conjunction with the Emmen Smoke-Free alliance. More and more schools, sports clubs, companies and healthcare institutions are joining the initiative.”
More than 100 of 355 municipalities in the Netherlands have started to develop local tobacco control policies, often as part of the movement toward a Smoke-free Generation. The movement, which started in 2015, is a national effort to ensure that all children in the Netherlands grow up smoke-free. It provides guidance to organizations and groups that want to make public spaces smoke-free in order to protect the lives and health of children in the Netherlands. It is also supported by the National Prevention Agreement coordinated by the Ministry of Health, which aims to make the Netherlands smoke-free by 2040.
Leave a Reply