Health Valley

Cigarettes in the hot seat

The noose is tightening around the tobacco industry, which has historically been welcomed in Switzerland.


The Swiss Lungs Foundation gave its 2017 Swiss Aerosol Award to Professor Reto Auer from the Bern Institute of Family Medicine and the Lausanne University Medical Polyclinic for conducting the first independent study on the IQOS e-cigarette from Philip Morris. According to this research, unlike the studies provided by the cigarette company, the IQOS e-cigarette does in fact emit toxic carcinogenic compounds similar to those released by traditional cigarettes and should not be exempted from the anti-smok-ing regulations in enclosed public spaces.

Second-hand smoke

The Swiss national railway system might ban cigarettes from all its stations by the end of the year. Tests are currently under way at six railway stations in Switzerland. Nyon started testing a fully smoke-free model in February, while Neuchâtel is trying out a less restrictive system by providing smoking "lounges". The national railway system should make a definitive decision this summer. In Europe, cigarettes are banned in railway stations in France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Switzerland’s railway system banned smoking on its trains in 2005.


Rebecca Ruiz, a Socialist Parliamentarian from Vaud, submitted a motion in December 2017 to ban the advertisement of tobacco products in points of sale to prevent cigarette manufacturers from targeting the children and teenagers who visit them. According to the bill, the expanding ban on tobacco advertising in cinemas and on posters has pushed the ads to points of sale, and especially street kiosks. One study found that nearly 80% of these shops, which are often visited by school children, contain advertisements for tobacco products. In nearly half of the cases, the images were placed near confectionery and treats, and were located at a child’s eye level.