LANGUAGE

National Committee for Tobacco Control v. SNCF

The National Committee for Tobacco Control (CNTC) sued SNCF (the French national railway) for failure to implement a smoking ban (in particular to post non-smoking signs throughout train stations) and to designate specific areas as reserved for smokers. The SNCF argued that CNTC's claims were partly unfounded because the law did not specifically require smoking zones or smoking waiting areas in bus or train stations. SNCF moreover maintained that no-smoking signs were posted in multiple areas and announcements regarding the smoking prohibition were aired over the PA system every ten minutes. The court held that SNCF was responsible for implementing the proper warnings, but that they were not liable if the public did not obey non-smoking signs (the SNCF is responsible for the means and not the results).  The court found insufficient posting of signs in some areas of the stations awarded nominal damages to CNTC.