As of Wednesday the 3rd of October, smoking will be banned in the city of Groningen in the vicinity of theatres, hospitals and childcare facilities.
Translation by Traci White
RTV Noord reports that the ban is the first of its kind in the Netherlands. The ban was approved by the municipal council in Groningen, but the VVD and SP voted against it. Representatives for the municipality state that there are around 30 organisations across the city that have signed up to make their outside space smoke-free zones.
Cigarettes are not the only form of smoke to be banned close to certain types of businesses: harmful fumes like emissions from mopeds and cars are also part of the ban, as is barbecue smoke.
Enforcing the ban
Anyone caught smoking or creating harmful smoke in the banned areas could face a fine, although the city is not planning to apply additional resources to enforce the ban. According to alderperson Mattias Gijsbertsen, the bans are more meant to encourage people to call each other out if they are violating the rules.
Hospitals across the region have implemented at least partial smoking bans in recent years, and the city-wide smoking ban was proposed over the summer.
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