News - October 18, 2019

Where are smokers to go? - No more smoking areas in student societies

Luuk Zegers

All smoking areas in Dutch catering outlets must close at once, deciding the Supreme Council on 27 September. A thorny problem for student societies, because smoking out of doors can be a nuisance for the neighbourhood.

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The ban on smoking areas applies with immediate effect, but is not being enforced yet, explains Iris van Noort of the National Chamber of Associations (LKvV). ‘Now it is up to the NVWA (the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) and the ministry of Public Health to make a plan for enforcing it. Until then, no fines will be imposed.’ But that doesn’t take away the need for societies to find a solution, says Van Noort, and that is not easy. ‘If people are not allowed to smoke indoors, they will do so out of doors, and that can be a nuisance.’

If people can’t smoke indoors, they do so out of doors and cause a nuisance

The LKvV advises societies to talk to municipalities and find the best way of implementing the ban. ‘Ultimately, it is up to the municipalities to enforce it. So good contact is important so as to make the best of it.’

Wageningen societies have already established that contact, says vice chair of KSV Franciscus Noëlle Dielissen. ‘At the moment the municipality is waiting for more detailed information from The Hague. Things should become clearer in the course of this month. LZ