Sunday, July 21, 2019

Win-Win

I've mentioned on this blog before the surprising fact that the Swiss like to smoke. A. Lot.

Young
Old
Male
Female
Mothers/Fathers (with infants and toddlers in tow)
Grandparents (with infants and toddlers in tow)
Business professionals
Retirees
Athletes*
Average folk

You name the Swiss demographic, chances are a large segment will be smokers. The prevalence of smoking here in Switzerland still astounds (and horrifies) me. That's not to say that the Swiss don't know the dangers of smoking. I've posted about the graphic warning labels found on cigarettes. 

Because we have been car-free since moving here two years ago, we spend a lot of time in train stations or on train platforms. People smoke like chimneys on train platforms. Up until very recently we've played a game of keep-away to steer clear of second hand smoke while waiting for trains. Of course we could have always waited in the ONE small glass box set up on the entire platform for non-smokers:
Non-Smoking Box

Sign on glass box door = place to wait smoke free.





But that has not always been practical.

I'm happy to share that the winds of change are a blowing in Switzerland - and it does not contain cigarette smoke. On July 1st a new ban on smoking on train platforms went into effect. We are breathing a little easier these days. 

Here is the public relations poster that are now at all train stations warning people of the change:
















Translation:
Good News for Smokers: Smoking continues to be allowed in the smoking area.
Good News for Non Smokers: Smoking is only allowed in the smoking area.

Win-win, right?

This is painted at the entrance to most train stations stating that smoking is no longer allowed:












And these handy dandy cigarette receptacles are set up at the far end of every station where smoking IS allowed. (They used to be every 20 feet on the platform.)













Unfortunately, some people are just not ready for the change:

She's smoking next to the sign.


















So far I haven't seen anyone get fined or even rebuked for smoking, but I'm sure that is not a long way off. The Swiss take their rules seriously and if you don't comply, eventually you will be caught.

Today's poem is a throwback to a haiku I wrote in 2017 about the dangers of smoking. The message holds true today:

a life sentence
is a drag
nails in a coffin


©2017, 2019 Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.
 
*I was running on a track recently where a young, fit guy was also working out. After about a half an hour of sprints, sit ups, push ups, etc., the guy packed up his gym bag, grabbed his water bottle, and lit up a cigarette. Seriously.
 
GOOD NEWS ALERT: We got our B residency permits! We can finally breathe a little easier that we are allowed to stay on a semi-permanent basis. Much better than the L (for Limited) permits we've had for the last two years. So if you've been wondering if we'll be here for the foreseeable future, yes we will. Plan your visits accordingly - we have an extra bedroom awaiting your arrival. :)

4 comments:

  1. Wow! to all, but they are making progress I guess. Congratulations for the new permits! That's wonderful. Oh, I'd love to visit & meet you. Maybe someday? Have a good week ahead, Bridget!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda! You are always welcome. I'd love to share the Swiss sights with you in person. =)

      Delete
  2. The fines will come in a few months. They announced a soft roll-out to get people used to the idea, then when the policy has been in effect for a while and people have had time to adjust, at that point the fines will come into effect. Unfortunately this doesn't apply at smaller stations so we still play "keep away" but I am so glad to see this step.

    I still remember when smoking was allowed in restaurants and when there were smoking and non-smoking cars on the trains!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Elisabeth! You know first-hand how it feels to breathe second-hand smoke on train platforms! So glad for this new rule change. =)

      Delete