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smoking in public Swiss train stations go smoke free

Smoking – some love it, some hate it. In Switzerland, 27.1% of people over the age of 15 are smokers. Among 15 to 24-year-olds, it is even more common: 31.7% light up regularly.

(ETH-Bibliothek Zürich/Swissair)

Overall, however, smoking is becoming less and less popular, and it is forbidden in more and more places. First, smoking was banned on public transport, in the workplace, in universities and on airplanes. 

Now, since June 1, 2019 , railway stations are in principle smoke-free; on the platforms, smoking is only permitted in delineated zones. The decision was made by the Association of Public Transport (VÖV) after a test run in Autumn 2018. 

Zurich train station is one of the first stations to introduce smoking zones, this week. The plan is for almost 1,000 stations to be converted by the end of October and all stations across the country by mid-2020. 

Compared to Germany, where smoking in train stations has been restricted to yellow-lined zones since 2007, in Switzerland the designated zones will be painted in blue. 

However, for the time being there is no legal framework for fining smokers who don’t stick to the zones. The project is based on “the entrepreneurial freedom of transport companies, not on a legal mandate”, the transport union has said.

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