From 2023, smoking will no longer be allowed on the platforms of the NMBS. Smoking and vaping are therefore no longer allowed on the Belgian platforms. Of course this is good news. Both for the health of passengers and that of SNCB staff, who no longer passively smoke. The measure has been in force in French stations since 2017 and in the Netherlands since 2020.
In addition, children are no longer exposed to cigarette smoke in this public space. The smoking ban also reduces the number of cigarette butts on the platforms and in the tracks, which contributes to a cleaner station and to the comfort of passengers.
Those who violate the ban risk a fine of at least 50 euros. A pilot project in the stations of Mechelen and Charleroi showed that “the smoking ban was well received and respected”. A survey would also show that seven out of ten travelers are in favor of smoke-free platforms.
In practice, ashtrays will be removed from the platforms and prohibition signs will indicate the prohibition in visible places. The measure was introduced on 15 May 2022 by the 2018 amendment to the Railway Police Act.
An information and awareness campaign will be organized until 31 January 2023. The goal is to bring about a positive mindset change – from a courtesy point of view – for better health and less waste.
Since 2004, smoking has been banned on board trains. In 2009, the smoking ban was extended to all station buildings and all closed public places, including covered platforms, such as in Brussels Central. On May 6, 2022, the House of Representatives passed a law to make all platforms – including those in the open air – smoke-free.