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French ski resort bans cigarettes on pistes in European first

Les Gets collected 3,000 cigarette butts while cleaning up its pistes last spring. This measure aims to reduce the pollution created by such litter

Cigarettes are now banned in the skiable areas of Les Gets in Haute-Savoie Pic: Arek Bialon / Shutterstock

Skiers are now banned from smoking in the skiable areas of Les Gets ski resort in Haute-Savoie, in what is thought to be a first for a European ski station. 

The ban applies to pistes and around ski lifts. 

Benjamin Mugnier, Les Gets’ commercial director, told Le Parisien that “we collected 3,000 cigarette butts while cleaning our pistes in the spring.” 

He added that this number of cigarette ends can pollute “up to 3,000 litres of water” and spread “150 toxic substances”. 

The cigarette ban began on December 17, when Les Gets opened for the winter season.

“This serves as an added encouragement to stop smoking. And for non-smokers, it will reduce passive smoking in queues or on lifts,” making the mountain air cleaner.

There will still be five smoking areas located around the skiable zones, “situated at the top of ski lifts.” They will be signposted by banners and equipped with ashtrays made from recycled skis by a company called Skitec.

Cigarette ends from these ashtrays will be collected and their heat-producing qualities exploited through an incineration process creating energy. This reuse operation will be carried out in partnership with an organisation called Tree6clope. 

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