Nuisance of smokers in neighbourhoods

Saxion University of Applied Sciences, ROC of Twente,

Municipality of Enschede

How can we limit the nuisance caused by smokers in neighborhoods around educational institutions? That is a question that is gradually dawning on us, now that the smoking ban is being enforced on (among other things) schoolyards. People who are no longer allowed to smoke there move into the neighborhood or look for other places. Sometimes with nuisance as a result: from waste, smell, noise or otherwise. Without coming up with yet another stop-smoking campaign or constantly focusing on enforcement: what products or concepts can we design to limit nuisance?

About this challenge

Saxion University of Applied Sciences (among others)

In the second nano-challenge we organized, we focused on this issue.

Four mixed groups of students have worked on solutions, according to the program we describe here . You can view their presentations below.

Not all solutions have been fully worked out yet, and some require further research. That makes them ideally suited for a sequel.

Do you want to get started? Then inquire with the challenge partner or contact the EnschedeLAB.

Progress / results

During nano-challenge #2, four teams worked on the issue of how nuisance caused by smokers in Enschede neighborhoods can be reduced. The four solutions that were devised for this are shown below.

Team 1 decided that banning smokers from a location does not help against the nuisance and does not tackle the core problem. They want to help smokers quit smoking by means of a motivational 30-day challenge. On the basis of a scratch card, participants receive motivational texts and facts and they have a chance to win great prizes from entrepreneurs in Enschede for every day that they do not smoke.

Team 2 preferred to clean up smoker-generated waste. Team 2 hopes to minimize the nuisance caused by smokers by means of MEUK, a smart waste bin that finds and clears up cigarette butts. MEUK also asks passers-by to put their cigarette butts in the waste bin. This keeps the environment nice and clean. Below you can see the presentation and pitch of team 2.

Team 3 devised a special smoking cabin. The cabins will be placed around the Saxion building in order to reduce nuisance in the neighborhoods around the university of applied sciences. With a green roof, solar panels and exercise bikes , the cabins make a positive contribution to reducing nuisance. Smokers can cycle for five minutes and receive a coin for a cup of coffee, and when you throw away your cigarette butt you get a piece of chewing gum. How it works? You can see that below.


Team 4 went eco-friendly with Filty, a reusable cigarette filter. By making the cigarette filter reusable, less waste will be generated, which leads to less nuisance. Below you can see the solution that team 4 came up with.


The scratch card – team 1’s solution – is almost ready to try out. Would you like to try that? For example, in the context of developing a campaign? Feel free!

MUK, the filter robot, is only a concept. Developing this into a prototype, perhaps in combination with drong technology, could be a next step.

With the solutions of teams 3 and 4, the question is whether they encourage smoking itself too much. Questions were asked about the feasibility of a cabin, as well as about the reusable filter.

The Honors Program of the UT also thought about the latter solution. They saw disadvantages in high production costs, the promotion of smoking and the ban on flavored cigarettes. Any further development of this solution should focus on the question of how you can offer such a (degradable) solution without popularizing smoking.