Health Sec: All school grounds smoke free

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No image availableNL Times

State Secretary Martin van Rijn of Health is putting in extra effort to get all school grounds smoke-free and to prevent young people from smoking. 

"The number of young smokers must be reduced. Therefore my tobacco policy is aimed to prevent young people from starting to smoke. Because if you manage not to smoke as a teenager, chances are much greater that you will not start as an adult. Schools have an important task. Many young people light their first cigarette there." Van Rijn said.

Van Rijn has drawn in three boards of education, the Longfonds, GGD-GHOR, Trimbos Institute and the Alliance Netherlands Smoke-free to help with the approach to Healthy School. Van Rijn is also broadening the research on teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 years in higher and vocational education. The smoking behavior of these groups have not been sufficiently mapped yet.

A study done by Longfonds in February shows that almost 50 percent of schools in the Netherlands are smoke-free. There is still much to be gained, especially in secondary vocational education.