The end of an Era in France – smoking ban


In the summer of 2005 I visited Paris and i recall an elderly lady lighting up in a high end department store.  Though this was not a conventional act, customers and staff alike did not point out this error to her.  In fact, observers seemed to look upon her with admiration.  Something that would never happen in our confused country.  However the golden era of smoking in France is over.

From January 1st 2007 the smoking ban will claim its next victim, France.  A country renowned for cafe culture will be forced to change its face.  Despite the pending ban, smoking is on the increase in France, which is a clear indication that the ban is not what a large proportion of the people want.  I am a fairly frequent visitor of France and have always enjoyed smoking in the cafes, bars and restaurants, and this has become a novelty since the ban was enforced in the UK.  However, the good news is that unlike the UK, some exceptions will be made, notably for casinos, nightclubs and ‘tabacs’ (licensed cigarette retailers with adjoining bars/cafes).

If you are lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris, happy smoking, for apparently police will not vehemently enforce the law on January 1st. 


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