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From the next academic year onwards, you will no longer be allowed to smoke on campus, not even in the open air.
At TU Delft not everyone is happy with the imminent smoking ban. (Photo: Cheryl Holt / Pixabay)

From the next academic year onwards, you will no longer be allowed to smoke on campus, not even in the open air.

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This is what State Secretary of Health Blokhuis wrote to the Lower House of Parliament. "Every year about 20,000 people die as a result of smoking," he explains. "Every day an average of 75 young people under the age of 18 start smoking daily and most young people smoke their first cigarette on school grounds.” The Cabinet says that this can't go on any longer. The ban will therefore apply to all educational premises, from primary school to higher education, and all institutions will have to enforce it.

Outsiders
The ban stems from a 2016 amendment by Member of Parliament Carla Dik-Faber of the Christian Union, a fellow member of Blokhuis' party. It took a while, but the ban is now in place. According to a spokesman, the delay had to do with the practical implementation of the ban, such as the precise wording and enforcement. The change of government also delayed things.

External entities must also comply with the ban. "If, for example, a theatre association rents the auditorium of an educational institution after school hours to rehearse," Blokhuis writes, "the members of the association will not be allowed to smoke on the premises of that educational institution either, and the smoking ban will have to be enforced."

Smoking banned, alcohol allowed
At TU Delft not everyone is equally happy with the imminent smoking ban. Students Mark and Anna (industrial design) for example, complain about the fact that neither TU Delft nor the Government should decide whether they smoke or not. "I mean, if I want, I can order a beer here on campus," says Anna. "That's pretty crooked." Mark nods in agreement. "I love getting a cup of coffee and smoking my cigarette during the break. I would be bummed if I can’t do that anymore. Did you know that the Faculty of Industrial Design even had a smoking room on the first floor? I think it was only closed last semester."

TU Delft is not yet able to answer the question of whether the ban really applies to the entire campus and how it will affect employees. "The HR department is working on the preparations, but does not yet know when these will be completed," a spokeswoman says.

HOP, Bas Belleman / Delta, Marjolein van der Veldt

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