Is DSB on the right track with its smoking ban?

Some are pleased with the decision to ban smoking from all train platforms, while others say that the ban will not be respected and will go up in smoke

After spending more than half an hour on the train from Hillerød to Nørreport, you are dying to get off and your hands are shaking as you light your precious nicotine stick and suck the smoke into your lungs, feeling your body calming as you satisfy your habit.

That scenario may be familiar to smokers, but as of July 1 of next year, smokers will have to stifle their cravings until are off the platform, as the national rail provider DSB is banning smoking from all platforms nationwide.

The Copenhagen Post went to Vesterport Station recently to ask smokers what they think of this decision. 

Sebastian Nystrup, a waste collector in Frederiksberg, was enjoying a cigarette at a bench when we spotted him and asked him about the coming ban.

“I haven’t heard that,” Nystrup said as he took a drag. “It doesn’t really bother me, because I barely ever ride the train.”

Sebastian Nystrup wants to quit smoking and thinks that DSB's ban will help him do so, but he finds the ban too extreme

He finds it silly that DSB is enforcing a smoking ban on outdoor stations, but said he has full respect and understanding for banning smoking indoors.

“When it is outside, I don’t see how it would affect other people,” he said. “People can just move somewhere else.”

Christina Disen, another platform smoker, agreed with Nystrup.

“People can just take a few steps to the other side,” Disen said. “I think all the sugar around us is worse. There are sweets everywhere you look in the supermarkets. That should be prohibited since it is just as big of a burden on the health care system as smoking.”

Disen said she didn't feel particularly bad for DSB employees who will now struggle to find a place to smoke due to the company's move to be a completely smoke-free workplace. She said she faced similar situations at previous jobs and “it is people’s own choice whether they want to work where smoking is prohibited."

Cecilie Notefoas, a 25-year-old student, said that she does pity the DSB employees but she does think the ban will make a difference anyway. 

“[DSB] can do whatever they want but as long as it is outdoors, it won’t prevent anyone from smoking – including me,” she stated as she lit a cigarette.

She agrees that smoking at indoor train stations should be prohibited, but she feels that you cannot ban smoking from outdoor areas.

Next summer train stations will be free of cigarette butts, DSB hopes

“I realise that people may be victims of secondhand smoke, but train stations are not the worst. It’s worse if you walk down [Copenhagen’s main shopping street] Strøget. I would rather stand next to a smoker than walk the streets of Copenhagen,” Notefoas said adding that she believes Denmark will lose a lot of money if they prohibit smoking since “cigarettes bring in a lot of tax money.”

Just before jumping on the train, Joan Tynnesen had time to say that she is in favour of the ban and that smoking is “just a bad habit that I am trying to quit, and I think that banning it in general helps people with that”.

Trine Lund also wants to quit the “bad habit” and thinks that the bans will push her down the right track.

“It is becoming more and more difficult to smoke, so a lot of people are just going to say ‘I give up.' It is completely fine that we are being channelled in a non-smoking direction. It is healthier for all of us,” Lund said.

She finds it “annoying to stand next to someone who smokes when you don’t fancy it yourself” and feels that the ban is in order.

"Out of respect for other people, I think it is good to have restrictions," Lund said.