I’m not sure how far it can be considered a selling point, but for smokers Switzerland is probably the best place to come to and be able to ski or snowboard big, and smoke in peaceful contentment.
A referendum held this month to restrict smoking in enclosed public spaces was roundly rejected across the whole of Switzerland – of the cantons only Geneva voted in favour. Some cantons have introduced these restrictions themselves already, but the Alpine cantons are conservative and resistant to new Federal restrictions.
And of course the cigarette companies are very powerful lobbyists, with many tobacco companies having European HQs in the country. As a result the advertising for tobacco products in Switzerland often portrays smoking very positively and streetside cigarette machines are widely available.
Additionally to being a good place to smoke, Switzerland also has relatively cheap cigarettes. Also booze and petrol are cheaper than neighbouring countries and, people smoke dope pretty openly with current proposals being introduced to make it a misdemeanour rather a serious criminal offence – even Switzerland for all it’s liberal values seems to have a legislature which has a psychotropic response to Cannabis, according to one Green MP. Gambling casinos are common, the sex trade is as honest and safe as the country as a whole. Perhaps it’s time for the Swiss Tourist Board to market itself for it’s liberal views on personal vices!
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Well perhaps not, but as an occasional smoker could I ask smokers who come to Switzerland to avoid smoking in places where people (particularly children) could be exposed to secondary smoke and please, please, please don’t litter the slopes with butt ends. It is a sobering sight when the snows melt to see the snow-capped mountains be replaced by mountains of cigarette ends around the chair lift stations.