Around Erasmus MC are signs bearing the message: "This hospital is working towards a smoke-free generation". From 1 September 2019 onwards, the hospital and its surroundings are to be completely smoke-free. Gone are the smoking rooms and public ashtrays. The ban also applies to smoking outdoors.
The PERSIST study was initiated to help the university achieve its anti-smoking objective, including amongst hospital staff. PhD student Nienke Boderie is a key figure in the study: "When you make a hospital smoke-free, you also have an obligation to help people quit."
Boderie specialised in disease prevention for her research master's degree in health sciences. Now she’s helping to make and keep the hospital and its staff smoke-free. As part of her intervention study, any member of staff who smokes is offered free smoking-cessation coaching through SineFuma, which specialises in this. "PERSIST assesses the effect of personalized incentives on people trying to quit for good," she adds.