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Employees in the Netherlands are entitled to a smoke-free workplace (in Dutch). Workplace is understood to mean the employee's entire working environment. This refers to such areas as office spaces, company cafeteria, company vehicles, stairwells and toilets. Smoking is also banned in private offices.
An employer may provide a designated smoking area, except in the hospitality sector where smoking rooms are prohibited (in Dutch). A smoking area must be a separate and closed room and should not cause any nuisance to employees in the workplace.
In 2021 all smoking areas in (semi) government buildings and public buildings such as for instance health care, education, cultural sector and sports clubs must be closed. In 2022 all smoking areas in businesses must be closed.
Ban on smoking in the hotel and catering industry
Smoking tobacco is prohibited in catering establishments in the Netherlands. Smoking areas are also prohibited. 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. Smoking on terraces in for instance a shopping mall is prohibited.
Smoking of non-tobacco products
Electronic cigarettes, herb mixtures intended for smoking and gels for water pipes (without tobacco) are exempt from the smoking prohibition. These products do not contain tobacco and may be smoked inside, also in catering establishments. If you do not want this in your establishment, you may forbid this.
Water pipes used for smoking tobacco and other smoking products that contain tobacco fall under the smoking ban. These products may not be smoked inside in any workplace, but only in designated smoking area’s or on terraces.
Please note: the Dutch Tobacco Act will be extended. All electronic cigarettes and tobacco products will be banned. These products may only be used in a designated smoking area or catering establishment’s terrace. Herbal mixes, gels for water pipes (not containing tobacco) and other non-tobacco smoking products may be consumed inside.
It is expected this change will come into effect on 1 July 2020.
Fine in case of violation
The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenautorteit, NVWA) performs inspections (in Dutch). You may not refuse inspectors access. An administrative fine (in Dutch) of at least €450 and at most € 4,500 can be imposed when breaking the ban on smoking and smoking areas.