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Experience from an Australian traveller - Issues on Public Toilet and Smoking Laws


Dear SBB,

We have just gotten back from our trip to Switzerland and share some frustrations about second hand smoke and the prevalence of smoking at bus stops and on the trains' platforms while waiting for trains. Additionally, we found it unfathomable that there was NO public toilets (there were two paid toilets and it costed CHF2 and closed at 10pm) at the Brig station. We inserted a CHF5 coin at one of the paid toilets at Brig station just ten minutes before 10pm on 21 October 2017 but there was no change given and the toilet did not open! I was so desperate as I really needed to go on the toilet and the train we were about to take from Brig to Kandersteg (36 minutes) had no toilets on board. Luckily we ran into a SBB employee who was knocking off work and was kind enough to let us use one of the staff toilets on the second floor at Brig station. We then had to run back to the platform 7 on the first floor to not miss our train! =(

We were initially very excited to be visiting beautiful Switzerland but had no idea of the ridiculous amount of smokers EVERYWHERE as long as it was open-air. This happened at bus stops, trains' platforms etc and we were literally astounded given that most countries have a complete smoking ban at train stations and platforms.

Given the high ticket prices SBB charges, surely it would be easy for you to enforce NO SMOKING on platforms and build smoking rooms for smokers who wish to suffocate to death by their own smoke. I was taken aback by how backwards Switzerland seemed with their smoking laws given that other countries like China have already banned smoking on all public transport and there are specially designed smoking rooms to cater to these smokers.

Switzerland is a beautiful country but the amount of smokers and no laws to ban public smoking really left a dent on our trip. Incredible views but inconsiderate smokers would be puffing off, spoiling the experience for others and polluting the air. The water is clean in Switzerland but fresh air is really hard to come by.


Hopefully SBB is taking steps to rectify this and hopefully the complete ban comes sooner than 2019. I am also not sure if I would be able to get back my CHF5 which was eaten up by your paid toilet at Brig station on 21/10/2017?!


Thank you.


Kind regards,

SW Pan


Dear @psw88

For the problem with the toilet in Brig, I recommend you to contact directly our customer dialogue: 



We want to protect passenger against passive smoking, but a blanket smoking ban in station is not planed. At the moment smoking is banned in all the encloses areas and passageways of our stations and in our shopping areas. Constantly the SBB check different solution to make it for everyone agreeable. We are looking for solutions and we will try next year a model of special smoking areas on platforms. The problem is the space on the platforms which is very small during the rush hours. That’s why these areas would be at the end of the platform. These areas would not be enclosed spaces and the surrounding area would therefore not be completely shielded from the smoke. If we find an ideal solution, we will take appropriate action.



I wish you a nice day.


Kind regards,