ProRail wants all rail stations smoke-free

Always wanted to snag a picture of yourself looking suave in a silk dress, perched on your leather suitcase while smoking a cigarette and waiting for your train? Well smoke up boujee traveller, because it won’t be possible in the future.

Yesterday we wrote that many restaurants in the Netherlands are banning smoking on their terraces and now ProRail have announced they want to make all train stations smoke-free.

The (obvious?) issue

A partial smoking ban has been effective since 2004 at all stations but apparently this does no go far enough to address the issue. The rail manager for ProRail* told NOS that they receive frequent complaints about smoking at the train stations and they want to be proactive and strive for change.

*Wait, not NS? Who are ProRail? They are the government organisation in charge of maintenance and extensions of railway infrastructure in the Netherlands.

smoking ban netherlands
Source: Skitterphoto on Pixabay

Competing freedoms?

It’s an issue of competing freedoms – the freedom to enjoy a cigarette versus the freedom to inhale smoke-free air. Despite enjoying the occasional cigarette myself, I have to side with the latter freedom on this occasion. The World Health Organization say nonsmokers who inhale secondhand smoke are still affected by the nasty chemicals and believe there are around 900,000 premature deaths each year which are secondhand smoke related.

When will it begin?

ProRail are in the process of trying to get the go-ahead from all relevant parties (train providers, trade unions, ticket companies, health organisations) but strongly believe this is what the majority of travellers support.

They predict the ban will take around two years to implement. All 400 stations must remove their smoking zones and smoke poles in order to begin the nationwide ban.

Do you support this ban? Let us know in the comments! 

Freya Sawbridge
Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.
  1. Honestly, this can’t come fast enough. Everyday we have to deal with smokers who ignore smoke zones and light-up wherever they want. I hope it comes along with fines – return the spoor manager to the platform and fine then on the spot if we need to. Their right to harm themselves should not come at the expense of harming others.


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