From 1 February 2018, Swiss Rail will start trialling smoke-free train platforms in Nyon, Neuchâtel, Basel, Zurich, Chur and Bellinzona. If successful the ban could become permanent and cover all Swiss Rail stations by the end of the year.
Some smokers interviewed at Nyon train station by the newspaper Le Matin, described the move as an attack on individual freedom.
Another was okay with train-side smoking but against cigarette litterers. A study by Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment, shows how cleaning up after smokers costs municipalities more (CHF 53 million p.a.) than dealing with any other kind of litter. The chart below gives a breakdown.
Next time you’re waiting for your train, glance down at the tracks and count the number of cigarette butts. Butts take years to biodegrade and release toxins as they do. After two years more than 60% of a butt remains1.
According to UK Cancer Research, smoking increases the risk of at least 14 cancers. These include cancer of the lung, larynx, oesophagus, mouth and pharynx, bladder, pancreas, kidney, liver, stomach, bowel, cervix, ovary, nose and sinuses, as well as some types of leukemia. In addition, there is some evidence that smoking could cause breast cancer.
The British Heart Foundation says smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked.
The upside of any eventual ban might be that by reducing smoking opportunities, it makes it easier to quit.
Le Matin report (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
1 Cigarette Butt Decomposition and Associated Chemical Changes