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Three beaches in Marseille have banned smoking this summer
Posted on 17/06/2019


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Since June 1st, it is strictly forbidden to smoke on three beaches in Marseille. It's a restrictive measure for those who enjoy their cigarette break in front of the sea, but a real benefit for visitors' health, the neighbors' tranquility and the environment.

Smoke-free beaches in Marseille

Smoke-free beaches in Marseille
© Thanagon Srichanchom / 123RF

Every hour, 100,000 cigarette butts are thrown on the ground in Marseille. This number is alarming and even more worrying when you think about the fact that one simple cigarette butt can contaminate up to 500 liters of water. To limit the pollution of both sand and sea, the city council has decided to make three of Marseille's beaches smoke-free: the Pointe Rouge, Escale Borély and Bonneveine Beaches.

The city of Marseille took all the necessary means to prevent smokers from being tempted to light a cigarette, and police officers are ensuring that people respect the measure at the entrances to beaches. Elodie Monné, Pointe Rouge's police chief explains: "We've made public announcements to warn people about the measure, and they're rather cooperative. Those who wish to keep smoking either don't know about the restriction or forget about it because of their smoking habits. We've only been doing prevention so far, and we don't fine people except those who really disrespect us."

For now, it seems the measure is being followed although it's caused mixed reactions. Even though the measure is well-intentioned, it's caused new problems. The beaches involved will be cleaner for sure! However, this restriction forces smokers to gather together at the entrance of beaches or at the nearby bar terraces, causing some bar owners to worry about the consequences. One bar owner, Marius, who runs Ô Bar in Marseille stated that "on the one hand, it can prevent some people from coming and getting the beach dirty. But on the other, some guests will come and sit for two hours and drink only one coffee just to be able to smoke."

But nicotine lovers don't have to worry! Although trying to smoke less while enjoying the sun isn't a bad thing, those who really want to smoke their cigarettes on their beach towels can choose one of the 19 other beaches in Marseille.

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