Heading for a smoke-free campus
Tilburg University is a frontrunner where smoke-free campuses are concerned. State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport Paul Blokhuis has imposed a smoking ban on all Dutch educational institutions from August 1, 2020, with fines of € 4,500 per infringement. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) is to enforce the smoking ban. Tilburg University will apply the new smoking policy from as early as August 15, 2019.
Smoke-free fits us like a glove
The new policy means that smoking is prohibited everywhere on the campus. It fits within the UN Sustainability Goals endorsed by Tilburg University: our non-smoking policy is part of our strategic theme of ‘Enhancing Health & Wellbeing’.
Boundaries of the campus grounds
To be able to enforce the policy, it is important to know to where exactly the campus grounds extend. With so many buildings spread out over a large area, this is not so easy to determine. The map below shows the boundaries of the campus grounds. From August, there will be signs indicating when you enter or exit the campus.
Enforcement by NVWA
The enforcement of the smoking ban is the legal responsibility of the NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority). From August 2020, they can check compliance with the ban on campus. In addition to the tough approach by means of fines, Tilburg University thinks it is important to enter into a dialog with staff and students who infringe the ban.
Facilities to quit smoking
Tilburg University wants to help staff who want to quit smoking, for instance, by offering quit-smoking courses. We would also like to draw the attention of students and staff to various self-help apps to quit smoking and we participate in the national Stoptober campaign. We are considering other options as well, and would welcome hearing from smokers what they need to quit smoking.
Ylva Hendriks is conducting research into ways to personalize the suggestions in health apps. This will increase the chance that people find an app that really helps them to make the desired behavioral change. At the moment, she is interviewing people who want to go smoke-free with the help of an app. Ylva says that participants look for a suitable app as part of the interview. The research team tries to find out what people are paying attention to, what they want to know about an app, and how they handle the search for an app.
Would you like more information about this subject? Please contact Health, Safety & Environment specialist Anita Mosterd at firstname.lastname@example.org.