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France to Ban Smoking in Cafes Jan 1, Sign of Apocalypse?


ArVaGuy
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While its an exaggeration to call a smoking ban a harbinger of doom and destruction, I can't help but find this to be of earth shaking proportions. What's France without smoking? Jeesh, next they'll ban Absinthe all over again. ;-)

 

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=axw.78.HGL5U&refer=home

 

France Bans Smoking in Cafes, Clubs, Rejects Sartre's Gauloises

 

By Helene Fouquet and Jeremy van Loon

 

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- France bans smoking in cafes, hotels and clubs on Jan. 1, stamping out the habit popularized by Jean- Paul Sartre puffing Gauloises in hazy brasseries.

 

In Germany, 11 of the country's 16 states plan similar restrictions for 2008. Six of those, including Berlin and Bavaria, start Jan. 1. France banned smoking in offices and public places this year. Germany prohibits puffers at train stations and federal buildings.

 

The limits are part of the European Union's public health plan initiated in 1985. In France and Germany, more than 200,000 people die each year from tobacco. The new restrictions have drawn criticism from smokers' groups, restaurant associations and civil liberties organizations in both countries.

 

``Maybe we're a bit stupid with our traditions, but we have the right to be as such and I cannot stand the idea of a hygienic, clean, and sorry to say `American style' society,'' said David Droulez, head of the Friends of Pleasure and Taste Association in Paris, which wants to defend France's ``epicurean conviviality.''

 

France and Germany are following Ireland, Norway, Malta, Finland, the U.K. and Italy that already have banned smoking in public places. Germany's hotel and restaurant association will contest the restrictions in court, said Stefanie Heckel, a spokeswoman for the group representing about half the industry's businesses.

 

``It's the little bars and pubs that will have the most problems,'' she said.

 

Falling Sales

 

Revenue at these bars will probably fall about 10 percent, she said. France's 800 water-pipe cafes, also called shisha cafes, will lose their main source of revenue, said Violette Vanhoenacker, a spokeswoman for their union.

 

``On Jan. 1, we'll be dead and 4,000 people will be ruined and jobless,'' she said in an interview.

 

About a quarter of Germans, or some 20 million people, smoke, according the federal drug commissioner's Web site. About 140,000 people die a year from the habit. Germans bought 94.1 billion cigarettes in 2006, 34 percent less than in 2001, according to Euromonitor International Plc, a U.K.-based market research company.

 

France has 14 million smokers, or 22 percent of its population. About 72,000 deaths are linked to smoking annually.

 

Economist Pierre Kopp at the Sorbonne University in Paris said tobacco-related costs, including absenteeism, fiscal and insurance expenses represent 3.1 percent of France's gross domestic product.

 

Healthcare Deficit

 

France wants to narrow its public health-care deficit to 4.2 billion euros ($6.2 billion) in 2008 from 5.9 billion euros in 2006.

 

The country increased cigarette prices 42 percent between 2003 and 2004, cutting consumption by 32 percent, according to the Health Ministry.

 

Altadis SA, which sells Gitanes and Gauloises, expects the ban to reduce sales as much as 4 percent in 2008, said Anne-Marie Lassalle, a spokeswoman for Altadis France. The company sells 56 billion cigarettes in France every year.

 

``We believe that a system that would have maintained smoking venues and other non-smoking ones would have respected both health and the freedom for smokers,'' she said.

 

In Germany, some cafes are renaming their establishments ``clubs'' to skirt the restrictions. The Ivory Club, a restaurant in Frankfurt's banking district, did that in October, when a ban was imposed by the state of Hessen.

 

``If the government were to forbid it, then it would make our business illegal,'' said restaurant manager Christoph Meier. ``We have a non-smoking room, as well as one with a high-tech ventilation system. We love non-smokers.''

 

Welcome Move

 

A poll by Paris-based institute BVA for the National Health Institute in September showed that 79 percent of the French agreed with the total ban in restaurants, 71 percent for cafes, pubs and bars, and 67 percent for clubs.

 

Christian Navet, the Paris representative of UMIH, the French union of cafes, restaurants, clubs and hotels, said he expects patronage in bistros to drop at the morning rush hour. ``But the drop may not last,'' he said. ``Habits do change.''

 

Images such as Sartre at Paris's Cafe de Flore and novelist Guy de Maupassant and poet Charles Pierre Baudelaire puffing away at cafes made smoking fashionable.

 

Actress Jeanne Moreau, Francois Truffaut's muse, who acted in the 1962 ``Jules et Jim,'' once said in her smoker's voice, ``I don't trust men who don't smoke.''

 

``Smoking in Paris cafes is folklore,'' Andre Daguin, president of UMIH, said in an interview. ``It will be hard on small businesses in the beginning, but I have no doubt their business will breathe new air again soon.''

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Fighting this law is silly. I know Washington is no Paris or whatever but smoking in public establishments has been in effect for a while and I don't think any establishment has really felt a negative effect from the law. Even though I am a smoker (I know bad bad Greg) I enjoy going out to eat more often and when I am out of town visiting areas that are non smoking like the bars it is much nicer too. I don't have to worry about some queen who has to talk with her hands waving a cigarettes around burning either myself of my clothes. Sure at first it sucks but people will adjust and get used to it. I don't think it is fair to expose non smokers to the effects of smoking be it second hand. Oh yeah I forgot Washington took the non smoking thing a step further no smoking in the front of any public door or window. Smokers must stand a minimum of 25 feet away, with the exception of if you are walking by.

 

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Guest zipperzone

It would be interesting to take a survey of our members on this "smoke or don't smoke" issue.

 

Greg tells us he smokes

Zipperzone does not.

 

I would think that an escort that smokes could find his business is affected. If I hired an escort who smelled of cig smoke, I'd end the session right then and there. The smell almost makes me hurl. (Sorry Greg - no insult intended). And even if they think they have masked the smell by mouthwash etc - they haven't. It gets into your clothes, onto your fingers and clings like cloth.

 

So fess up guys - who are the non-smokers among us.

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I remember when this happened in Italy 4 yeasr ago the few days before the start of the banning was like preparing for the war.

Then eventually it went much smoother than the forecasts, when Restaurants thought they would have for sure lost their business!

 

In Spain 3 years ago same thing, but they gave most restaurants the "option" to agree or not to the banning.

So, guess what the majority of Restaurants chose?...:+

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I'm a non-smoker.

 

Currently, Michigan is debating smoke-free legislation. The measure passed our state house and is in the hands of the state senate.

 

I think if bars/clubs/restaurants in Montreal, Los Angeles, New York, San Fran, Chicago, Toronto, Paris etc. can prosper (and thrive) in a smoke-free environment, then there is no reason that my home state of Michigan (Detroit) should'nt either.

 

I went to Best Buy yesterday and the sales kid reeked of cig smoke. It was so pungent I had to walk away.

 

Anyway, having been in Montreal before and after the smoking ban, I can 100% say that Montreal is much more enjoyable today.

 

I think smoke-free is a positive selling point.

 

I'm glad Paris is joining L.A. and N.Y.

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Non-smoker for the last 26 years; before that I smoked like a chimney for more years than I care to reveal :))

I remember this discussion being bandied around on this board when Montreal enacted it's ban and some posters feeling that the strip bars would never recover. Having been a visitor to Campus, L'Adonis, Stock and Taboo before and after the ban, I think most would agree that it's wonderful to come home and not have every bit of clothing reek of cigarette smoke. Another poster was correct---you can brush your teeth, chew gum, gargle until you are raw, but cigarette smoke clings to your hair and seeps out of your body, regardless of your hygiene.

As an aside---I wonder how much of the ban in France and other European countries is due to American tourists complaining about smoke in restaurants and other public places?? Governments can put out statements about public health costs, but perhaps it's the hurt in the income from US tourists that prevailed

As far as other US states----traveling in states where smoking is still allolwed in restaurants is NOT pleasant and I suspect that before I die, most, if not all, states will impose a smoking ban in restaurants and maybe all public places.

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>As an aside---I wonder how much of the ban in France and other

>European countries is due to American tourists complaining

>about smoke in restaurants and other public places??

 

Probably not much. The last time I heard anything, the French weren't exactly welcoming to *anything* American. ;-)

 

>Governments can put out statements about public health costs,

>but perhaps it's the hurt in the income from US tourists that

>prevailed

 

Pssst: American world dominance is gone forever. Unfortunately, Americans don't realize it.

 

>As far as other US states----traveling in states where smoking

>is still allolwed in restaurants is NOT pleasant and I suspect

>that before I die, most, if not all, states will impose a

>smoking ban in restaurants and maybe all public places.

 

Oh, bans are definitely on the up-swing. In California, there is no smoking on any public beach from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. Entire towns have banned smoking in any public place. One town, Calabassas, has gone so far as to ban smoking ANYWHERE except in privately owned detached homes. Yes, that means apartment dwellers are not allowed to smoke in their own homes. A country club in Thousand Oaks has banned smoking on its golf course.

 

I'm seeing striking similarities to the lead-up to Prohibition, which banned the sale of alcohol. That didn't work out so well, either. It's a pity we can't learn from our mistakes.

 

Bans do not work.

 

I am a smoker, by the way. I am not against smoke-free workplaces and other places people are required to be. Bans affecting private property, though, cross the line of reasonable government intervention and come dangerously close to a police state.

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>Does that include personal cars too?

 

I presume you're asking about the ban in Calabassas. I'm told it does indeed include personal cars. I've been avoiding the place (which is difficult since it's just a few miles from me).

 

The ordinance specifically says smoking is only allowed INSIDE privately owned detached homes. (That rules out the yard, y'all -- it says INSIDE!)

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Guest ncm2169

Cigars here. }(

 

Damn things. I smoked cigs for 35 years and couldn't stand them anymore, resolving to quit. Then someone gave me a good cigar, and I found a new nicotine delivery mechanism (yeah, I know that's what they are since I inhale). I smoke about 4 per day and love every minute of it/them. I take some consolation in knowing that the tobacco in cigars is a higher grade (that is, "good", i.e., Caribbean, etc. cigars) tobacco than cigarettes and without all the additives American tobacco products possess. But if I hadn't discovered them, I'd probably be a recovering smoker by now.

 

That said, I have no problem with tobacco bans in various establishments/places, but outdoors? Excuuuuuuse me!!x(

 

The anti-tobacco bunch are, as Deej said, every bit as messianic as old Andrew Volstead (father of the 18th Amendment aka Prohibition) who unfortunately was a Congressman from my state, Minnesota. They are as fanatical as their cousins, members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), IMHO.

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When the anti-smoking laws began in France several years ago, I thought it was hopeless. But there is definitely less smoking in France these days, and one sees it in restaurants less. There's still more than in the US, and plenty of refusal to conform in the traditional French style -- but the idea that at base it's a really unpleasant thing to do is slowly taking hold.

I noticed much more smoking in Spain than in France.

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While I'm in favor of bans in public places, these private home bans are absolutely absurd. I've been wondering when someone will challenge such a ban in court and force the issue up to the Supreme Court. Of course that could take about a decade to wind its way through the system.

 

BTW, in DC it is against the law to sit out on your own front porch or stoop and consume alcohol. That's right you can't drink a beer on your own property without being cited for public drinking. Now if they only applied such regs to public parks and enfored them maybe such a reg would make sense.

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Guest zipperzone

>>Does that include personal cars too?

>

>I presume you're asking about the ban in Calabassas. I'm told

>it does indeed include personal cars. I've been avoiding the

>place (which is difficult since it's just a few miles from

>me).

>

>The ordinance specifically says smoking is only allowed INSIDE

>privately owned detached homes. (That rules out the yard,

>y'all -- it says INSIDE!)

 

I wonder if this would stand up in court? I would be very surprised if it did. As a non-smoker I generally support smoking bans in public places like restaurants & bars etc - but this goes much too far.

 

Another example of a city council running amuck - who the hell made them God?

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Well Chicago and all of Illinois goes smoke free at 12:01am on Jan. 1st. As is typical a good law is being implemented by idiots. They have made it clear that restaurant/bar/hotel management are expected to remove ashtrays and inform patrons at 12:01 (in the middle of New Years parties). I guess 6am on 1/1 wouldn't work.

 

Doubtful that it will be enforced but still stupid.

 

Barry

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I congratulate the french decision. In Belgium the smoking in all public places was banned as from January 1st, 2007. This includes public buildings, offices, train stations and restaurants, but not small cafes. The latter are allowed to have a smoking section which doesn't exceed 25% of the establishment. Furthermore the Belgian parliament has approved a law banning all tobacco advertising and sponsorship as from January 1st, 1999. There is European project for a law that goes in the same direction.

 

The following link is the commercial about the ban that ran on National TV

http://nicotinenews.blogspot.com/2006/12/belgium-govt-communicates-decision-for.html

 

Steven Draker ~

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"The latter are allowed to have a smoking section'

Kitchener and Waterloo banned smoking quite a few years ago. There was a pretty heated debate.

A highschool student was on a phone in program on the radio and he said, "having a smoking section in a restaurant, is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool."

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