Smoking in Holland: Dutch Smoking Ban

Information on the laws of the Netherlands banning smoking in public places: restaurants, schools, public transport, hospitals and administrative buildings...

The Netherlands implemented the Tobacco Act in 2002 which banned smoking in places of public access, government buildings and institutions. Tobacco advertising was prohibited, as was the sale of cigarettes to people under the age of 18. This prohibition was later extended to ban smoking on all public transport or enclosed communal spaces serving public transport, such as waiting rooms and enclosed platforms. In 2004 rulings were introduced for a smoke-free place of work for all.

On 1 July 2008 restrictions on smoking in public places were extended in the Netherlands to restaurants and hotels, bringing it in line with much of western Europe. However, legislation applies to tobacco smoking only. The legalised smoking of cannabis in dedicated coffeeshops is not affected by the ruling. Certain small pubs are also excluded.

The primary objective of the smoking bans is to limit non-smokers' exposure to passive smoking in public or communal places.

Smoking tobacco is not permitted in the following places:

  • In any office building, in both private offices and communal areas (reception and board rooms, canteens, washrooms, gym and sports areas), except in designated smoking areas
  • On any public transport: trains, trams, ferries, buses, aeroplanes
  • Anywhere on the property of schools, and colleges (indoor and outdoor grounds)
  • Public spaces, shopping malls, airports
  • In hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities
  • In hotels, cafés and restaurants, fast food outlets and night clubs. Smoking is allowed in venues with a separate, enclosed, designated smoking space which are not serviced by employees
  • In coffeeshops (cafés where the sale and use of soft drugs is permitted), though these may have a separate area where tobacco can be smoked
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