Photographer:Fotograaf: Pixabay / HansMartinPaul
MAASTRICHT. From August 2020, all education premises in the Netherlands must be smoke-free. Randwijck may even start sooner. The Rookbeleid UM (UM Smoking Policy) working group suggested that they should start on 23 March. The Executive Board “looks upon this favourably”.
The date of 23 March was chosen because that is when MUMC+ has announced a general smoking ban and they want to prevent members of staff and patients from the hospital going to the UM to smoke. The Executive Board has not received an official request for the plan, but in this instance they will “undoubtedly look upon this favourably,” said Vice President of the Executive Board, Nick Bos, during a University Council committee meeting last week.
All premises owned by the UM will become smoke-free zones. For each location, it will have to be determined together with the land register exactly where the boundaries lie. In Randwijck, for example, the grassy plots between the University Library and the Universiteitssingel are also owned by the UM. Determining the boundaries in the city centre will be a lot more complicated: the ‘small square’ in front of the entrance to the UM’s administrative building, for example, is a public road.
Initially, the implementation will consist of pavement markings and signs, says Pauline Arends, chairperson of the UM smoking policy working group. “We would prefer to work with ‘no smoking zone’ signs, but we want to be in line with the choices made by MUMC.” Enforcing the measures will have to wait until August, when the legal ban comes into force. Specially trained student teams will see to it that there is no smoking. Should this nevertheless happen, the UM can receive a fine of up to 4,500 euro per smoker. The working group will point out to staff and students who smoke that the health insurance has been refunding courses to quit smoking since 2020, without the policy excess being affected. “The UM itself is going to offer group courses.”