Non-smoker protection – Smoking in public places and facilities such as bus stops, schools, playgrounds, sports centers and swimming pools will be prohibited in Geneva in the future. The Great Council approved an amendment to the smoking ban on Friday with a large majority.
The tightened smoking ban is the strongest in all of Switzerland. The decision was made with 63 yes votes, 4 no votes and 9 abstentions. This change in legislation aims to protect the population, particularly youth, from exposure to smoking, said MCG MP Sandro Pistis.
Whenever smokers in the canton of Geneva do without the fag in publicly accessible outdoor areas. This includes, for example, all training centers, schools, kindergartens and playgrounds. Sports facilities such as swimming pools, soccer fields and grandstands as well as ice rinks are also affected. Smoking will also no longer be permitted on the grounds of day and holiday camps or at public transport stops.
The sight of people smoking or cigarette butts on the ground can help young people start smoking, said SP MP Jennifer Conti, who introduced the bill. Several countries, including France, Spain, the United States and Canada, have already created smoke-free outdoor public spaces. “With this text, the canton of Geneva is becoming a pioneer in Switzerland,” the councilor said.
Legal challenge possible
“This draft law is innovative,” admitted the State Councilor for Health, Mauro Poggia (MCG). However, the magistrate did not rule out that some provisions, such as the smoking ban at bus stops, could be challenged in court.
In Switzerland, the federal law against passive smoking has been in force since 2010. Among other things, this prohibits smoking in all closed rooms if they are open to the public or if several people work as a workplace. However, the cantons may enact stricter regulations.