SNCF to ban smoking on all trains by year’s end
PARIS, Aug 15 (AFP) - The head of France's railway company said Monday it plans to ban smoking on all its trains by the end of the year.
“We are going to propose that between now and the end of the year 100 percent of trains be designated non-smoking,” said SNCF chief Guillaume Pepy.
The French railway has experimented with non-smoking trains for several years. It declared all its high-speed TGV trains non-smoking from mid-December 2004.
That was followed by some regional Transilien and TER trains banning smoking, Pepy said.
“We now think it’s time to take a further step and make trains in general non-smoking,” he said.
He said a new service starting September 5 between the cities of Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpellier and Nice, will have no smoking cars and will be followed by bans on regional trains that currently allow smoking.
“Travelers are ready for it, their habits have changed,” Pepy said, adding that so far the company has not lost any of its smoking customers.
He said for the past 10 years, many smokers reserve seats in non-smoking carriages because they themselves do not like the ambiance of smoke-filled cars.
Pepy said the railway company would “scrub down” the smoking cars, treat the persistent odors in them and get rid of the ashtrays.
Subject: French news, smoking, non-smoking, SNCF, trains, French railway