Smokefree sports grounds contribute to a smokefree generation in the Netherlands
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Dutch Heart Foundation, Netherlands
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A553
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Children spend substantial amount of time at sports clubs. Legislation prohibits indoor smoking at sports clubs. Outside, children are still frequently exposed to smoking. Children who see others smoking are more likely to start smoking when they get older. The Dutch Heart Foundation, co-initiator of the 'Smokefree Generation movement', developed a program to motivate and facilitate sports clubs in making sports grounds smokefree.

Intervention or response:
Early 2016 the first sports clubs were recruited to implement a smokefree agreement. We developed a support package, including a step-by-step plan and smokefree signs. Early adopters were used as inspiration to others. Free publicity and campaigns brought smokefree sports to the attention of general public and sports clubs. Furthermore, we lobbied important stakeholders for their contribution to smokefree sports: sports associations, professional sports clubs and municipalities.

Results and lessons learnt:
Smokefree sports is a fairly new subject. To increase awareness is crucial. The positive argument of protecting children against tobacco is well accepted.
- The number of sports clubs with a (partly) smokefree sports ground increased from just a few in January 2016 to 135 half 2017 and we expect 200 at the end of 2017.
- Partnerships with the Royal Dutch Football, Hockey and Korfball Association.
- Baseline data shows that about 30% of managers from football, korfball and tennis clubs are willing to take smokefree steps.
- High level of social support: 9 out of 10 adults and children believe that sports grounds, were children are playing, should be smokefree.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Increasing the number of smokefree sports grounds will denormalise tobacco in society. Especially because it is part of a bigger movement towards a Smokefree Generation. Joining forces with important stakeholders will speed up the number of smokefree sports grounds. The use of a positive tone of voice is a key to social acceptance.

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