Ban on smoking in the workplace

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

The smoking of electronic cigarettes and tobacco products is banned from the workplace in the Netherlands. Smoking areas are also prohibited. Employees are entitled to a smoke-free workplace. Workplace refers here to the employee's entire working environment. This includes areas as office spaces, company cafeteria, company vehicles, stairwells, and toilets. Smoking is also banned in private offices.

Smoking area prohibited

Designated smoking areas in buildings are prohibited. This applies to (semi) government buildings, public buildings, and office and other commercial buildings.

Workplace at home

The smoking ban does not apply to private spaces, for example your home office. Employees who work from home can decide for themselves if they smoke or not. Employees who work at (other) people's homes (for example in catering, or home care) cannot rely on a smoke-free workplace.

Ban on smoking in the hotel and catering industry

Smoking tobacco and smoking areas are also prohibited in catering establishments in the Netherlands. This ban on smoking applies to owners, employees, and guests/customers. Do you serve food or drinks? Then your establishment is considered a catering establishment. Examples are hotels, restaurants, cafes, sports canteens, or shisha lounges.

Smoking on terraces

Smoking tobacco is allowed on terraces belonging to a catering establishment (in Dutch). The terrace must be completely open (outdoors) on at least 1 side (this includes the top side). Smoking on terraces in, for instance a shopping mall, is prohibited.

Non-tobacco products

Herb mixtures intended for smoking, gels for water pipes (without tobacco), and other non-tobacco smoking products are exempt from the smoking ban. These products can be smoked inside, also in catering establishments. If you do not want this in your establishment, you can forbid this.

Fine in case of violation

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenautoriteit, NVWA) performs inspections. You cannot refuse inspectors access. An administrative fine (in Dutch) of at least €450 and at most € 450,000 can be imposed when violating the Tobacco Act (such as by breaching the ban on smoking and smoking areas).