Les Gets, a ski resort located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France, has elected to ban smoking on its slopes. The decision takes effect on December 17th and will make the French resort the first European ski area to enact a ban on smoking.
This decision is primarily motivated by environmental factors. Over 3,000 cigarette butts were found scattered across Les Gets and retrieved by volunteers at their annual ‘Clean Mountain’ Day. This is a significant contribution to the 20,000-25,000 metric tons of cigarette butts that unfortunately end up being left in nature every year in France, and it’s good to see the resort do its part and take action to reduce this massive amount of harmful waste. Considering that melted snow will eventually end up in rivers and streams all across the European Alps, this ban is rooted in common sense and will hopefully go a long way in improving environmental conditions for years to come.
Les Gets will still offer five designated areas for a quick smoke break if you feel the need to take one. The resort says they will be recognizable with banners and scattered across different areas of the mountain. In addition to this, they will include ashtrays constructed from recycled skis as a means of additionally reducing the environmental impact on the resort. Hats off to you, Les Gets!
Although Les Gets is the first European ski resort to ban smoking on the mountain, many other resorts across the world have already made this decision. Whistler, located in Canada, has not allowed smoking on the slopes for several years now. American resorts that have enacted similar policies include Colorado’s Beaver Creek and Snowmass, among others. Hopefully, this positive trend will continue and spread to other resorts across Europe in the coming years!