The Plage Lumière in La Ciotat, France, has become the first European beach to ban smoking in a series of planned smoking bans for the coastal area of Provence. The botanical park of Mugel and “Petit Mugel” – a small beach adjacent to the park – are next in the sights of the innovative open-air smoking ban issued by the local town hall.
Liliane Sirector, the Director of La Ciotat Tourist Board, said of the ban:
“The townhall decided to set up this initiative of a non-smoking beach to help the environment and promote general health. The decision was taken in view of the tourist development of the resort and the increasing number of visitors whom we receive.”
When asked whether the ban had a loophole for those walking out to sea, the leader of the tourist board responded “the smoking ban on the Lumière beach applies to the actual beach but we hope that beach goers won’t go in the sea to smoke”. Although the ban was instigated on the grounds of health and the environment, there are no plans to similarly curb alcohol: “in Ciotat as in all the cities in France, it is forbidden to drink on the public highway but no specific ban was emitted on this matter”.
Following a sweltering week of top temperatures in France, locals and holiday makers alike will be making their way to the Côte d’Azur for a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Just 33km from Marseilles, La Ciotat is a popular destination and “a seaside resort which offers more than 6 km of coastline, a stunning inland offering many walks, a bustling city center and events all year round” according to Ms Sirector.