More cafe terraces voluntarily going smoke-free in the Netherlands
More and more hospitality entrepreneurs are making their outdoor terraces smoke-free, said industry association Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN). The organization presented the claim following the decision by fast food chain McDonald's to make its terraces in the Netherlands smoke-free at the end of this summer. KHN remains against a law banning smoking on terraces, because the organization believes that entrepreneurs should be able to determine for themselves whether they ban smoking on their terrace.
KHN was not able to provide concrete data regarding the number of business owners whose terraces and patios are smoke-free, but said it will inform its members "wherever possible about this trend." The trade group said that entrepreneurs can also choose not to place ashtrays on tables anymore, or to make a portion of their outdoor spaces smoke-free. More and more cafes and restaurants are coming up with their own limitations to smoking in practice, a spokesperson said.
Smoking is currently allowed on outdoor terraces under certain conditions. The decision by McDonald’s to enforce their own ban was encouraging, said a spokesperson for the coalition of health organizations pushing for a smoke-free society. Their group, De Gezondheidsfondsen voor Rookvrij, is “super happy” with McDonald’s move. The coalition includes participation by pulmonary nonprofit organization Longfonds, cancer research facilitator KWF, and cardiac health organization Hartstichting.
"Seeing smoking creates smokers. And if children see it less, it will make a real difference. We are happy with every initiative. They will set the tone,” the spokesperson said. He referred to several polls that showed that no-smoking terraces were becoming more widely accepted in society, especially on terraces that welcome children.
Besides McDonald's, other major companies have already taken steps to reduce smoking. As of the beginning of this year, KLM employees are no longer allowed to smoke in KLM buildings or on KLM grounds, whether indoors or outdoors. PostNL, the Amsterdam public transport company GVB, and telecom group KPN are also working to become smoke-free, according to the Netherlands Smoke Free Alliance. Last year, supermarket chain Lidl also stopped selling cigarettes and tobacco.
Reporting by ANP