Thursday, November 03, 2005

Smoking Ban in France? Not so fast.

Yesterday a Member of French Parliament proposed a bill that would ban smoking in public areas. Interestingly enough, a recent poll shows that 56 % of smokers and 88 % of the non-smokers would support a total ban, so things are changing in the right direction.

Unfortunately, neither the majority party (UMP), nor the government seems to be supporting a full ban in public. I suspect they cave in to the lobbyism of cigarette manufacturers and France's main catering federation (Union des métiers et des industries de l'hôtellerie). So it is unlikely to pass.

The catering federation claims that they would lose customers, yet the same thing was said in Ireland, Italy and Norway but nothing happened. In fact, I read today that Irish pubs have sold more beer since the ban.

In any case, the current French law (Loi Evin) says that every public place must have a non-smoking area... only the smoke does not seem to know that...


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