Smoking to be banned at all Dutch train stations this year
This year, every one of the 400 train stations in the Netherlands will become smoke-free. As of April, NS will stop selling tobacco products in its own shops (Kiosk and StationsHuiskamer) and in October (Stoptober), ProRail will get rid of all smoking facilities on platforms. Currently, there is a partial ban, in force since 2004, on smoking at stations.
No more smoking at stations
After months of discussion, NS and ProRail have decided to make all stations in the Netherlands smoke-free. This will put a stop to the sale of tobacco at the 136 NS-owned shops, which brings in millions of euros each year. Additionally, no new contracts will be signed with tenants who want to sell tobacco at stations. NS says it will make do with the lower turnover and talks of a “societal decision”.
ProRail is already in the process of removing smoking post bollards from station platforms. There are still smoking post bollards and grates at around 100 stations. Furthermore, illuminated smoking area signs will be removed, the paving will be modified and new signs will be made with the house rules.
Listening to passengers
By making stations smoke-free, NS and ProRail are meeting the wishes of the majority of passengers. The parties’ decision to make stations smoke-free is also in line with the National Prevention Agreement from 2018. In the agreement, the government strives for a smoke-free generation in 2040.
NS wants to offer passengers a smoke-free journey and, according to Stations Director Anneke de Vries, “the majority of smokers want to stop. By not selling cigarettes, NS can make it much easier for them.” Once the smoking ban at stations is in place, ProRail doesn’t expect to hand out many fines. Currently around 2.000 fines are issued each year for smoking outside of designated smoking zones.