Compliance with the workplace-smoking ban in the Netherlands

Wendy M. I. Verdonk-Kleinjan*, Pieter C. P. Rijswijk, Hein de Vries, Ronald A. Knibbe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: In 2004 the Dutch government instituted a workplace-smoking ban. This study focuses on differences in compliance over time and between occupational sectors, and describes the background variables. Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with company employees across industry, public and service sectors in 2004 (n = 705), 2006 (n = 2201) and 2008 (n = 2034). The questions concerned smoking policy, aspects of awareness and motivation to implement this ban. Results: Compliance rates increased between 2006 (83%) and 2008 (96%) after an initial stagnation in the rate of compliance between 2004 and 2006. The increase in compliance was accompanied by a less negative attitude and an increase in confidence in one's ability to comply (self-efficacy). Differences in compliance between sectors with the highest compliance (public sector) and the lowest compliance (industry) decreased from about 20% to nearly 4%. Simultaneously, in the industry there was a stronger increase for risk perception of enforcement, social influence and self-efficacy. Discussion: The initial stagnation in increase of compliance might be due to the lack of a (new) coherent package of policy measures to discourage smoking. Over the entire period there was a stronger increase in compliance in the industry sector, probably due to the intensification of enforcement activities and additional policy like legislation, which might increase awareness and social support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-206
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Public policy
  • Secondhand smoke

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