In the largest railway station in Switzerland, smokers are experiencing a difficult period. On Tuesday, several brands were placed on the ground at Zurich Central Station to signal the ban on smoking inside. Starting Wednesday, the whole resort will be smoke-free – even electronic cigarettes are forbidden. Smoke is still allowed in the special areas in front of the stations and Perrons.
There will be two other large ashtrays per platform and the train station lobby will be completely non-smoking. Above the zones, it should be indicated that smoking is allowed only two meters to the left and right of it. "There will be no marking or closing, if someone is two and a half meters away, it does not matter," says Christian Fricker, responsible project at SBB.
"We rely on communication rather than on buses"
By 2020, around 1,000 railway stations throughout Switzerland are to be restructured. The goal is to provide a smoother smell and minimize the amount of waste caused by smoking. According to the Public Transport Association, about 550 kilograms of cigarette butts are landing every day on the runway bed all over Switzerland. Since cigarette filters are made from thermoplastic cellulose acetate, they are not biodegradable. The removal of heels costs CFF about three million francs a year. Several dozen railway stations have already been converted.
Who smokes in the ban does not have much to fear: "We rely on communication. That's why we will not issue any buses, "said Fricker," instead, we would go to the smoker and politely indicate the areas that are being reported, but on the underground tracks it is forbidden For some time now, as Fricker says, there can always be buses and promises.
"The ban on smoking is an education in its own right"
About 80 ashtrays are removed on the night of Wednesday. The change is not welcomed by all: "It's just a desired education," roars a young commuter. The others agree: "It's so stupid that I'm certainly not going to stick to it," says Erik Oehmichen, 17. Even non-smokers are of the opinion that implementation is difficult: "I think it's good, because the smoke bothers me. But I think smokers will not care, "says Ivana Lekic (see video).
SBB is also aware that change will not happen overnight. "The new regulation requires a change in behavior, it just takes time," says Fricker. Nevertheless, he is confident that in the near future, all will accept the new rule.