Lobby groups, local government sports clubs, schools and health experts have launched a campaign to make Groningen the Netherlands first smoke-free city.
The project, partly developed by addiction specialist Robert van de Graaf, aims to end smoking in more places throughout the city, including hospitals, playgrounds and schools.
‘Second hand smoke is dangerous but so is seeing people smoke,’ Van der Graaf told broadcaster NOS. ‘We often don’t realise that children can become addicted by seeing others smoke because they think it is normal behaviour.’
Around 25% of the Dutch population currently smokes and 810,000 children grow up in a family with at least one smoking adult, Van der Graaf says.
From this summer smoking will be banned through Groningen’s university buildings and the teaching hospital will be completely smoke from from 2019. The organisations supporting the move signed the covenant to ensure children grow up in a smoke free environment in April.
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