Schools and universities are unsure whether they will be able to deliver a 24/7 tobacco ban on their premises which will become law from August 2020, the AD reports.

Two thirds of secondary schools premises are currently smoke free as are 80% of primary school premises, according to research by the Trimbos Institute for mental health and addiction. However, only 14% of vocational schools (MBO) have banned smoking completely.

The health ministry is also working on a change in the law which will make school boards liable for any infringements but although schools support the measure they feel policing it will be difficult. ‘Before you know it we will have the smoking police patrolling schoolyards,’ vocational schools council chairman Ton Heerts told the paper.

Schools also say a 24/7 ban is unrealistic. ‘We can be asked to maintain the ban during the day but not when schools are closed at night. Bars and restaurants are spot checked but we have not had any assurances from the ministry that these checks will take place during the day,’ said Maurice Limmen, chairman of the HBO college council.

Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said he will be talking to schools about their responsibility to police the ban. ‘We understand there will be moments when it can be a problem because everyone will have gone home,’ he told the paper.

The Dutch consumer product safety authority NVWA will be responsible for the checks but, the AD said, it is not clear how this will be done.