UG is now enforcing the smoking ban, but no one knows about it


The UG started enforcing its smoking ban on university premises on October 1. However, no one is actually aware of this, including the smokers and the enforcers.

A cold autumn wind blows; it’s October. The sun is trying to get out from behind the clouds, but it’s cold outside. This means there are visibly fewer students smoking on the Broerplein. The few that have lit up are standing outside the blue lines. It’s a complete coincidence, though, because they’re completely unaware that the UG will be enforcing the smoking ban from now on.

Smoking on UG premises has been banned since August 2020, but so far, the pandemic interfered with the enforcement of the ban. That has now changed, because the UG is risking a fine of six hundred euros if they’re found to be in violation, a fine that can rise up to 4,500 euros if the violation is repeated.

Blue line

The university has installed extra signs proclaiming they support a ‘Smoke-free generation’ at their premises in the city centre. They also painted a thick blue line, the ‘smoking border’, between the entrance of the UB and the Academy building.

Nothing will change for students who light up outside the smoke-free zones. But inside the zones? ‘Honestly, nothing is changing’, says one of the enforcers. ‘We’ve been approaching smokers ever since the ban was first instated.’

Little effect

They weren’t aware that the ban would be enforced more strictly as of October 1. They don’t think it will have much of an effect. ‘We shouldn’t be the only ones keeping an eye out. Other staff members also see people smoking.’

Students should also tell each other where they are and aren’t allowed to smoke, although the enforcers don’t have much faith in that happening. They won’t be any stricter in enforcing the ban than before. ‘We won’t be addressing any students that are just a few steps inside a no-smoking zone.’

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