Smoking rooms in bars and restaurants in the Netherlands banned

Smoking rooms in bars and restaurants in the Netherlands banned

The Dutch Court of Appeal in The Hague has decided to ban smoking rooms in restaurants and bars in the Netherlands. This decision comes as a result of the lawsuit put forward by Clean Air Nederland (CAN).

Breathing in smoke unavoidable at Dutch bars

In 2008, a ban on smoking in hospitality facilities, such as bars and restaurants, was implemented. However, an exception was made for areas which were specifically designated to smokers.

Whilst smoking rooms are kept separate, tobacco smoke unavoidably seeps out into smoking-free areas, meaning that non-smokers indirectly breathe in the smoke too. Employees at such establishments are also subject to breathing in the smoke, when they clean the rooms.

No more smoking rooms in the Netherlands

CAN has filed a lawsuit against smoking rooms, arguing that allowing such rooms or areas breaks the terms of an agreement with the World Health Organization regarding combatting tobacco exposure in indoor public places. The Court has ruled in favour of CAN; smoking rooms will therefore no longer be allowed in hospitality facilities.

The Court was concerned, amongst other things, about the social pressure that non-smokers may feel to join their friends in the smoking room, as there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Leave a comment

Bryan Tsai 03:34 | 27 February 2018

I actually wonder when NL will ban smoking on the platform at stations: bus stop, metro stations, train stations.

Constantin Tofan 10:51 | 23 July 2018

Hi Mina Solanki, First, thank you for writing this post. Lovely one. I face so many difficulties regarding smoking at workplace where others smoke and I have to breath second hand smoke from them. It's very unhealthy for me and I would like to know if I can do something about it. Second, there is a dutch website where I can send a complaint regarding issue above? Third, keep it up with your great work. I hope to hear from you soon. Kind Regards, Constantin T.

minasolanki 11:31 | 23 July 2018

Hi Constantin, thank you for your kind words. For problems in the workplace, we recommend speaking to someone in HR at your company. As an employee you have a legal right to a smoke-free workplace. If you want to take your complaint further, you can send it to the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority via this form (in Dutch): Good luck and kind regards, Mina