France Faces up to Smoking Ban

Thursday marks an important health and cultural shift for France when a new law comes into force banning smoking in public places. Offices and other public buildings come under the new legislation but cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels and casinos are exempt until 2008.

The state is to aid would-be quitters by handing out coupons for the purchase of Nicotine patches and chewing gum.

Helplines which advise smokers on how to give up have seen business boom.

” I would say the number of calls we get has doubled. Around 500 calls come in per day – 300
asking for help in how to beat the addiction and around 200 for information concerning the new law. Most people appear to be coming to terms with the new reality,” said a spokesperson for the helpline.

A key question is whether the authorities will enforce the ban.

In 1991 France introduced a reform ordering restaurants and bars to set up smoking and non-smoking areas and this is widely ignored.

A series of fines will act as the stick with individual puffers facing a 68 euro fine. Those in charge of the business or building will be slapped with a 135 euro fine going up to 750 euros for repeat offences.

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2 Responses to “France Faces up to Smoking Ban”

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  1. Comment by Keith R | 01/31/07 at 6:12 am

    Hi. Interesting article. I especially am intrigued to hear about the coupons for patches idea. Wonder where else that has been tried? Hard to think of the French giving up smoking in public places, but then again, I did not think New Yorkers would adapt to it either…

    Given your entries here on international developments regarding tobacco control, you may be interested in reading two such entries on my blog, one regarding public support for recent measures taken in Uruguay, the other on a study of the effects of a tobacco ad ban on teenage experimentation with smoking in Brazil. Regarding the former, when the new Uruguayan President (an oncologist by profession) imposed a tough public smoking law, many said that the public would ignore it and the authorities would not enforce it (a concerned raised here in the entry on France). Yet compliance and enforcement has been surprisingly good and public acceptance much higher than expected. This may in part be due to a solid accompanying public education effort.
    Best Regards,
    Keith

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  3. Comment by Quit Smoking | 02/02/07 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks for the info Keith, interesting stuff.

    Yah it seems, it’s almost as bad as imagining the Irish in Dublin drinking but not smoking.

    Everyone has to adapt though I guess, thankfully it’s becoming a non-smoking world.

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  1. Comment by Keith R | 01/31/07 at 6:12 am

    Hi. Interesting article. I especially am intrigued to hear about the coupons for patches idea. Wonder where else that has been tried? Hard to think of the French giving up smoking in public places, but then again, I did not think New Yorkers would adapt to it either…

    Given your entries here on international developments regarding tobacco control, you may be interested in reading two such entries on my blog, one regarding public support for recent measures taken in Uruguay, the other on a study of the effects of a tobacco ad ban on teenage experimentation with smoking in Brazil. Regarding the former, when the new Uruguayan President (an oncologist by profession) imposed a tough public smoking law, many said that the public would ignore it and the authorities would not enforce it (a concerned raised here in the entry on France). Yet compliance and enforcement has been surprisingly good and public acceptance much higher than expected. This may in part be due to a solid accompanying public education effort.
    Best Regards,
    Keith

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    1. Comment by Quit Smoking | 02/02/07 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks for the info Keith, interesting stuff.

      Yah it seems, it’s almost as bad as imagining the Irish in Dublin drinking but not smoking.

      Everyone has to adapt though I guess, thankfully it’s becoming a non-smoking world.


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