Towards a Smokefree Generation in the Netherlands: From campaign to social movement to an ambition embraced by the government
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Alliantie Nederland Rookvrij (Dutch Alliance for a Smokefree Society)
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A119
In the early 2010s, the Netherlands was lagging behind in the area of tobacco control (TC). Dutch society was polarised on the topic and TC was not considered a key priority in the public and political domain. To change the pace of TC, the Dutch Cancer Society, Heart Foundation and Lung Foundation joined forces. In November 2015, they launched the campaign “Towards a Smokefree Generation” (SFG). The objective is to allow parents to raise their children free from exposure to tobacco smoke and the temptation to start smoking. So that all children who are born from 2017 onwards, will choose to never start smoking. A common roadmap, following the lifeline of a child born in 2017, was developed to illustrate which measures and activities by the national government, municipalities and (civil) society are necessary to achieve a SFG. By using a positive frame and inviting everyone to join the movement, polarisation is largely taken away. No one wants their children to start smoking. The first results are now starting to show. There is an increased sense of urgency and public support for TC initiatives targeted at protecting youth is on the rise. Moreover, a growing number of individuals and organisations – from an increasingly broad range of sectors – take action. Consequently, as one example, the number of smokefree play, sports and hospital grounds and other areas is rapidly increasing. In October 2017, the new government unequivocally announced its support for the goal of creating a SFG in its Coalition Agreement. It also expressed the ambition to conclude a Prevention Agreement – together with other relevant parties – by the summer of 2018, in which TC is one of the key priorities. Such a joint action plan, if it contains clear responsibilities and targets, would be an important next step in creating a SFG. Funding Statement: The Dutch Alliance for a Smokefree Society is founded and funded by the Dutch Cancer Society, Heart Foundation and Lung Foundation. This abstract concerns a policy/advocacy presentation.
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