Non-smoking areas around buildings
In September 2018, Groningen was the first municipality in the Netherlands to set up smoke-free zones around various buildings. These would be public buildings such as hospitals, theaters and also playgrounds. This is not possible on public land, but on private land this could be done by law. For example, there are fewer and fewer places to smoke.
No smoking on the street
Smoking has been prohibited in public buildings, offices, shops and catering establishments for some time. Outside areas such as the train platform also have special smoking areas where smoking is allowed. Public authorities in Groningen want to make the area around their buildings smoke-free. According to the city council, there were thirty organizations that want to designate the area surrounding their building as a smoke-free zone. It is not permitted by law to impose such a prohibition when it concerns public space. However, this does not include the organisation's grounds, so it is possible to ban smoking in those locations.
Smoking outside the hospital
It is a strange sight, patients who smoke a cigarette outside the hospital. Yet that is the only place where they can light a cigarette. Prohibiting this will force them to quit smoking or leave the premises. The measures in Groningen can therefore have a significant impact. The proposal does not mention e-cigarettes that emit do not smoke, but vapor. In addition to visitors, this will also have an impact on employees who cannot light a cigarette during the break. This is very pleasant for bystanders who do not smoke, the staff may be less happy with this.
There is less and less opportunity for smokers to smoke on the street. For some people this is literally a relief, for others it feels like an invasion of their freedom. It does not seem that it will become simpler or cheaper for smokers in the coming years, maybe try to stop using an e-cigarette as an alternative, for example?