There have been mixed reactions to the announcement by NS and ProRail that smoking will be completely banned at stations from 1 October 2020 onwards, NOS reports.
Yesterday, NS and ProRail announced that the smoking zones on train platforms would be removed by 1 October 2020. The NS will also stop selling tobacco products at the shops it runs in stations, and will not be giving new contracts to other stores which sell tobacco products. The latter measure will come into effect on 1 April 2020.
Ban is a logical next step
The travel association Rover reacted positively to the ban, saying it was the next logical step towards a smoke-free generation in 2040. “In the past you were allowed to smoke on the trains, then on part of the trains, then only on the platforms and now only on part of the platforms,” says spokesperson Chris Vonk. “We understand today’s decision well. We are in a time when it is no longer socially responsible to smoke.”
Concerns about staff performance
But the trade union FNV Spoor brought up concerns with the smoking ban’s impact on staff. Those who smoke will likely not have time to exit the station to smoke between tasks, which means that they may have to work a full day without a cigarette. Given the addictive qualities of nicotine, this could have implications for NS staff’s alertness and mood.
Director Henri Janssen says that while the trade union does want to support their members in quitting smoking, there will be a significant proportion who cannot or don’t want to do so. For them, the absence of smoking zones on platforms will have a significant impact.
Concerns about public reaction
As always, Facebook and Twitter were alive with comment from members of the public.
Verbieddag. #Vuurwerkverbod, #rookverbod @NS_online . Iemand weleens gezien waar de rookzones staan op perrons? Dat is een paal, ver weg op een winderige plek, met een strenge blauwe cirkel eromheen van een diameter of 2.
— Rick Tigelaar (@Rick_Tig) January 30, 2020
Translation: Ban day. #fireworkban, #smokingban @NS_online. Has anyone ever seen where the smoking zones are on platforms? It is a pole, far away in a windy spot with a strong blue circle of 2m diameter around it.
Vrees dat dit een 'loze ingreep' is. Momenteel zijn er rookplekken op de perrons, waar helaas teveel rokers zich niet aan houden en dus overal op de perrons roken. Dit wordt niet gecontroleerd, dus hoe zal dit gaan als het rookverbod van kracht wordt….?
— René Klaassen (@ReneBarna) January 31, 2020
Translation: I’m afraid this is likely an empty measure. There are currently smoking spots on the platforms, which unfortunately too many smokers do not adhere to and therefore smoke everywhere on the platforms. This is not checked, so how will this work when the smoking ban comes into effect ….?
Rookverbod op stations en knalvuurwerk verbod.
2020 begint prima. pic.twitter.com/hRnLJIJ3Lz
— bob van varik (@bobvanvarik) January 30, 2020
Translation: Smoking ban in stations and a firework ban. 2020 is beginning beautifully.
Schiphol airport also working on a ban
Schiphol airport has also begun to consider a smoking ban on its grounds. “We are currently discussing a future ban with the shops and restaurants at the airport,” says a spokesperson. “We want to make a decision before 2022 at least.” By 2022, all smoking areas need to be closed as a result of a new law passed last year.
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Feature image: Pixabay