More Dutch Bars are Quitting Smoking on Terraces

They say sitting is the new smoking – but, on Dutch terraces it seems its still preferable to actual smoking. The amount of cafes, bars and restaurants that ban smoking on their terrace areas has risen sharply over the past year. 

Roll the crackly black and white footage. Europe was once synonymous with classy European people, in understated but fashionable clothes, drinking espressos in cafes, talking about philosophy, and having a cigarette resting prestigiously between their index and middle fingers.

In modern Netherlands, however, more and more Dutch restaurants are banning smoking on their terraces. While last year 39 terraces were reportedly completely or partially smoke-free, now 113 have banned the act. While there are thousands of terraces across the country, the trend is speaks for itself.

Terraces that have already said ‘nee’ to smoking. Image: Screenshot from Clean Air Nederland.

Who is banning smoking?

The figures come from anti-smoking organisation Clear Air Nederland, who say that establishments banning smoking are, predictably, those more frequented by families with young ‘uns. But, Clean Air Nederland chairman Tom Voeten says there are still improvements to be made.

“What is clearly lagging behind are cafes and bars in entertainment areas where mostly young people come. We hardly see any smoke-free terraces there”, he said to NOS.

What is the governments position?

The Netherlands has a goal to achieve a generation with no smokers at all by 2040, as part of the National Prevention Agreement. One method of achieving this goal was encouraging businesses to ban smoking on their terraces. Smoking areas in restaurants, cafes, and pubs are also running against the ticking clock: they must be removed by 2022.

Should restaurant owners live and let live, or step in to ban smoking on the terraces? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Michael Gaide on Pixabay

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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