Railways trial smoke-free zones in six stations
Lighting up on the platform will no longer be possible in six train stations across Switzerland from February.
Swiss Federal Railways SBB said on Wednesday it was planning to test out smoke-free zones at Basel, Bellinzona, Chur, Neuchâtel, Nyon and Zurich Stadelhofen stations.
The partial smoking ban would increase the safety and comfort of passengers, it said, and make the stations cleaner.
The trial of a variety of smoke-free solutions begins on February 1st and will last “several months”, the statement said.
In the six stations smoking will be banned in underground passages and at lower ground floor level.
Whereas four of the six stations will prohibit smoking on the platforms, Bellinzona and Neuchâtel will test out smoking zones on their platforms.
After the results have been assessed a smoking ban could eventually be introduced in all SBB stations, according to the statement.
The move comes 13 years after a complete ban on smoking in trains took effect in 2005.
At the same time station buildings became smoke-free but railway passengers were still permitted to puff cigarettes on the platforms.
SBB said it was following the lead of its European neighbours Germany, France and Italy who have had positive experiences since introducing strict or partial bans.
The national railway operator said the smoke-free zones would contribute towards improving the environment and would also benefit passengers.
The fact that there are more and more people passing through train stations at peak times increases the risk of damage to their clothes, hair or skin through contact with a burning cigarette, the statement said.