Swiss smoking ban in place by next season

11th May 2009, by Chris Gill

Next winter you’ll be able to breath a little more easily in Switzerland, when new smoking laws take effect - good news for skiers and boarders wanting to enjoy smoke-free mountain restaurants, bars and hotels.

For a while there has been a drive towards banning smoking in all public areas, unless a dedicated smoking room is provided. And in some places full or partial bans already exist. But Switzerland is complicated: the country is divided into cantons - or regions - each has its own laws, agreed by local vote. Working out which has what isn’t necessarily easy.

Graubunden is one region already benefiting from a smoking ban - which took effect last March (2008). The latest news is that Valais, Vaud, Lake Geneva and Berne will be among those with bans coming into force this summer - so by next winter, passive smoking in a mountain hut in Zermatt or Villars for example should be a thing of the past.

One area that won’t be joining in though is Obwalden - which includes Engelberg. Along with Jura, a smoking ban is unlikely any time soon.

Valais - (eg Verbier, Crans-Montana) - 01 July 2009

Berne - (eg Grindelwald, Wengen, Murren) - 01 July 2009

Lake Geneva & Vaud - (eg Villars, Gstaad) - 01 September 2009



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