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Monday, 20 June 2011

La Ciotat - France's first non-smoking beach

If you're thinking of lighting up while sunbathing on the beach in the southern French town of La Ciotat, make sure that smoking is allowed.

Plage Lumière, La Ciotat (screenshot from BFM TV)

Because the local authority of the town, that is just half-an-hour's drive from the city of Marseille, has decided to follow the example set by New York earlier this year by banning smoking on one if its beaches.

It's a first in France and, as the deputy mayor Noël Collura says, is a way of allowing families with small children the chance to enjoy the beach without coming across cigarette ends in the sand or being disturbed by smoke.

What's more smokers seem to be respecting the ban.

"We thought we would be handing out lots of fines," he told BFM TV.

"But that just doesn't appear to have been the case," he continued.

"Instead if someone tries to light up on the beach it's usually one of the other holidaymakers who'll point out to them that it's a non-smoking area."

No-smoking sign on Plage Lumière, La Ciotat (screenshot from BFM TV)

Just to ensure that smokers respect the ban, police regularly patrol the beach, and they can hand out fines of up to €38.

On the whole though, their job at the moment has just been one of pointing out the new restrictions.

"We ask them either to put out the cigarette or to smoke outside of the zone," policeman Cédric Chartier told France 2 news

"Usually there's no problem and they do as we request."

Apparently the Town Hall has already been contacted by other seaside resorts in France thinking of introducing similar bans.

Meanwhile if you're in La Ciotat and are really desperate for a ciggie while you sunbathe then, as the French news website Le Post points out, you'll still be able to.

The ban only applies to the Plage Lumière - for the moment - which still leaves smokers free to

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At last! For years I have been coming to France to enjoy the wonderful weather and beautiful beaches - but I have always been disgusted by the cigarette butts and other rubbish that you can find in the sand. We have none of that on our pebble beaches back in England so about time our neighbour thought about the hygiene of their beaches.

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