The Netherlands Cancer Institute will be completely
smoke-free from May 31, World No Tobacco Day. Smoking inside and on
the landings has not been possible for a while, but the entire
outdoor area of the AVL site will now become a non-smoking area.
This means that the smoking areas and ashtrays outside the
buildings will disappear. Signs will clearly indicate where the
smoke-free zone starts and ends.
Our objective is not compatible with smoking
"Thirty percent of the patients we treat at the Netherlands
Cancer Institute have cancer as a result of smoking. Research also
shows that cancer treatment is more effective in non-smokers and
that the chance of a recurrence of the disease is greater for
smokers," says René Medema, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "As
the Netherlands Cancer Institute, we cannot allow smoking in our
hospital and on our premises any longer. We do not consider the
objective of our hospital to be compatible with smoking and for
that reason, we no longer want to confront patients with smoking on
Nicotine replacement products for patients
This ban means that patients, visitors and employees who smoke,
can no longer do so in the immediate vicinity of the AVL. "Such a
decision has major consequences for them because smoking is one of
the most serious addictions. "But we still support this decision,
it is inevitable," says Medema. "Patients who are admitted to our
hospital may receive nicotine replacement products during their
stay to help them through the time they cannot smoke. Patients who
want to quit are welcome to visit our Stop Smoking clinic. There
they will receive advice and guidance for a year to quit smoking
permanently." Employees that smoke will also receive support if
they want to quit smoking.
On March 7 of this year, eight care institutions in Amsterdam,
including the AVL, offered alderman Simone Kukenheim a letter
containing a call for their buildings to not only be smoke-free
inside but also in the immediate vicinity outside. The
organizations, which have also joined forces in the Amsterdam Smoke
Alarm, strive for a smoke-free generation and want to set the right
example in the city.
Report filed against tobacco industry
The Netherlands Cancer Institute opposes smoking in general and
the tobacco industry (which produces the so-called cheat
cigarettes) in particular. The Netherlands Cancer Institute was the
first hospital/research institute to file a report in the ongoing
criminal case against four major tobacco companies in 2018. René
Medema at the time: "I think it is criminal if you continue to put
a product on the market while you know that the health risks
associated with that product are higher than legally permitted.
That is unacceptable."