Smoking at NEC?

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In more and more places, it is forbidden to smoke. “On the way to a smoke-free generation.” That is the slogan you hear a lot these days. Since the first of January 2010 it is forbidden to smoke in cafés and other catering establishments. It is only allowed to smoke in smoking areas. But from the first of July 2022, this will also be forbidden.
As you can see, smoking starts to disappear more and more from public facilities.

Last month, the question whether smoking should also be banned from the Goffert stadium came in the news. On the one hand, there are people who want the cigarette to be banned but on the other hand are there people who want to smoke during the game. A survey of “The Gelderlander” among 921 readers shows that 59% do want the cigarette to be banned and 41% do not. So the outcome is close.

One of the arguments why NEC should not ban the cigarette out of the whole stadium is because there already are three non-smoking area’s in the stadium. So why should you ban smoking in the whole stadium when people can also watch the game in one of those areas. Another claim is that NEC is traditionally a club for the working class. There are many permanent supporters and it may be that quite a few supporters would stay at home when it is not allowed to smoke in the stadium.

The municipality of Nijmegen strives to a ban of smoking at all sport clubs in Nijmegen. This obviously also includes NEC. But the town council can not force NEC to prohibit smoking in The Goffert. It may still be possible that NEC, just like PSV, is going to ban the cigarette in July 2019. No decisions are made yet. Since the first of January 2019, it is not allowed anymore to smoke in the stadium of Vitesse. Ajax already had a ban on smoking for ten years. The biggest difference between Ajax and Vitesse is in contrast with NEC is that Ajax and Vitesse both have a roof that can close. And when the roof is closed, it is forbidden by law to smoke.
Meanwhile, there already are 208 smoke-free amateur soccer clubs. Besides, the training complex “De Eendracht” is smoke-free since the beginning of this year. Another solution for the problem could operate as intermediate. The amount of non-smoking area’s could be expanded without banning smoking in the whole stadium.

This discussion will probably go on and will be a discussion between supporters who want to smoke during the game, supporters who do not want people to smoke and the city council.