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Clean air Swiss stations could be smoke-free by 2019

Women smoking

Non-smokers are hoping to be able to board a train without having to pass through clouds of smoke

(Keystone)

The Swiss Federal Railways is considering making all of its stations smoke-free in December 2018. Until management reaches a final decision in the middle of next year, various non-smoking zones will be tested in locations around the country. 

The Federal Railwaysexternal link plans to introduce the changes along with the new timetable next December, according to a document quoted by the Neue Zürcher Zeitungexternal link newspaper on Wednesday. 

In a 12-month test phase, three non-smoking options will be examined: a totally smoke-free station; smoking zones on platforms; smoking lounges. Exact test locations and details had yet to be decided, said Federal Railways spokeswoman Franziska Frey, but she said “five or six” stations would be involved. 

In addition, passengers would be consulted, newspaper reports assessed and reader comments analysed. 

Smoking in stations is a constant issue in passenger surveys, according to the Federal Railways. 

Smoking in trains was banned in December 2005, but compared with stations in other European countries, those in Switzerland have very liberal smoking regulations. For example France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain all have complete smoking bans in stations. In Germany and Norway, one can light up only in designated areas on platforms.

In a puff of smoke Who picks up your cigarette butts?

The Swiss Federal Railways cleaning specialists have to remove cigarette butts from the railway tracks laboriously by hand. At Zurich’s main ...

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts

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