Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Interdit de Fumer!


raisab
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just read in Le Figaro where a smoking ban takes effect on 1 Feb 2007 in public places (stores, schools, etc) and restaurants and bars on 1 January 2008. I never thought I would see this happen. What is the reaction in France?

I am not one who favors government regulation when it comes to private businesses, especially here in the US where states, cities and municipalities are autonomous and laws vary from mile to mile. But I can't say I am completely dissapointed about this smoking ban, as it is 'l'égalité pour tous' . Any comments?

(John, if this is already discussed elsewhere, please merge. Merci bien.)

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The International Herald Tribune has this to say:

Jean-Paul Sartre smoked. So did Colette, Cocteau, Camus and Coco Chanel.  There is something about smoking that seems very French.

But as in other European countries, smoking in public increasingly has fallen out of favor here. This week, after a five-month governmental inquiry, a parliamentary committee approved a proposal to ban smoking in public areas. 

To diehard smokers and many tobacconists and bar and restaurant owners, the campaign reflects the loss of a core French value - the rights of the individual.

"What disturbs me is the ayatollahs you meet everywhere. They tell you how you have to make love, how you have to eat."

... and haven't the people in the United States been accepting smoking bans with compliant good humor? :hmmm:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The International Herald Tribune has this to say:
Jean-Paul Sartre smoked. So did Colette, Cocteau, Camus and Coco Chanel.   There is something about smoking that seems very French.

But as in other European countries, smoking in public increasingly has fallen out of favor here. This week, after a five-month governmental inquiry, a parliamentary committee approved a proposal to ban smoking in public areas.  

To diehard smokers and many tobacconists and bar and restaurant owners, the campaign reflects the loss of a core French value - the rights of the individual.

"What disturbs me is the ayatollahs you meet everywhere. They tell you how you have to make love, how you have to eat."

... and haven't the people in the United States been accepting smoking bans with compliant good humor? :hmmm:

Hmm...I am not quite sure of the point here. In the US there are two distinct warring factions. La différance is that even though smoking may be outlawed in Washington DC, all you have to do is cross the Potomac (200 feet) and you are able to smoke in restaurants in Virginia. (Just an example). I don't believe the government should get involved. (Even though I dislike cigarette smoke.) What was the reasoning for the government's decision on this ban? Is there enough of a majority of patrons who complain about it? (Besides the Americains! :hmmm: ) Will it be enforced? Will there be protests? Inquring minds want to know! Edited by raisab (log)

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

January 1 2008 is a long way away. A lot could happen between now and then. For at least a year we'll see no real difference. This first year might be to get people used to the idea but nothing more.

In the press, we are seeing a campaign of human interest stories. There have been a few restaurants that have gone non-smoking voluntarily and these are present in the press at the moment. One restaurant owner in Paris claims to have gone through an initial slump, then once word got around, gained non-smoking customers. They interviewed patrons identifying themselves as smokers, and the message being reinforced is their opinion that they didn't mind not smoking while eating, and going outside if they need to in the establishments that are already non-smoking. The obligatory interview of the restaurant chef who explains that smoking between courses interferes with the ability to fully taste the food.

I was asking myself where people can't smoke, if the exceptions to the first year of the ban are: Restaurants, Cafes, Discos, Bar/Tabac. The public libraries already don't allow smoking inside, government buildings are generally already smoke free except the place where the ministers meet in Paris, so I guess not letting the ministers smoke in Paris will be a change... Smoking on the subways is already not allowed, and I suppose train stations will be going non-smoking, unless of course you are standing at a bar or sitting in a cafe in a station.

I have never seen anyone smoke in a store, I never even knew it was allowed, so I guess it seems logical to ban smoking there. So where else will smoking be banned? For at least a year, and that is if someone doesn't do something to repeal or modify this law, there will be no change to the smoking in restaurants, cafes, and bars.

The bar owners are the ones crying the loudest at the moment, they say that going non-smoking makes them lose all of their clientele. Atmosphereic small town stories on the news featuring a down and out bar owner who says that his business was ruined by going non-smoking are being aired on the news.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bar owners are the ones crying the loudest at the moment, they say that going non-smoking makes them lose all of their clientele.  Atmosphereic small town stories on the news featuring a down and out bar owner who says that his business was ruined by going non-smoking are being aired on the news.

We have very tough no-smoking laws here, and bar and restaurant owners made the same protests - but bars and restaurants are as full as ever, and the food is much more enjoyable for everyone (aside from the health benefits, and the evidence on the dangers of passive smoking is hard to ignore). I think non-smokers often left bars and restaurants early (I know I did) - now they dont need to. It all balances out in the end.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it clear yet whether or not the French smoking ban will apply only to "enclosed" public places?

As I understand it the English ban on smoking in restaurants (due sometime next year) is specifically limited to "enclosed" places, although I have not yet heard a clear definition of this. I know that the Scottish pubs (which already have a ban) are reported to be investing in patio heaters to allow the smokers to go outside.

Since some of the worst problems we have experienced from other diners' smoking have actually been when eating outside I wonder what impact these new laws will have if eating outside is excluded from the ban?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

January 1 2008 is a long way away.  A lot could happen between now and then. 

This is a very valid point. Observers of the French political scene will recall the fate of the first employment contract, voted into law but miraculously retracted/revoked/whatever after street demos. At least in what I've read and seen on TV, it sounds more like intent and hope than a fait accompli.

As for

(John, if this is already discussed elsewhere, please merge. Merci bien.)
I didn't merge this into the other thread because I thought that was on where to find no smoking places, whatever happens legally and public-health wise and this is on reactions to the new 2007 intention. In my biz there are lumpers and splitters; this time let's leave them split.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I Have seen smoking in shops and it shocked me! Especially on Rue St. Honore where some of the clothes are quite expensive! Can you imagine buying a 1200 euro pair of pants that smelled of cigarettes?

Yes 2008 is far off. Will the populace protest this as time comes closer? Is it something that is being spoken about? Or is it a fait accompli? Here in Washington there were all sorts of protests. basically to no avail.

This may sound strange, even though I hate the smell of cigarettes, I grew to like it in Paris. Maybe less filters? I don't know...but it will certainly by a different experiemce for the senses once the law takes effect.

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've had the ban on smoking here for about a year and a half, I think, and we're one of the places cited by the french in their coverage of this story (on tv, anyway, I haven't read any of the press).

The main reason that's being given is the 6,000 people who die of passive smoking related disease each year in France, the majority in the hospitality industry. The reasoning is that bars and restaurants and nightclubs are workplaces, too (I think we have an exemption for prisons, but I'm not 100% sure how that works, it's been a subject of some debate, but forgive me for not being sure as to the status of this, it may have been removed).

I'm a huge supporter of it, it makes such a huge difference. Pubs etc have either beer gardens/smoking areas (uncovered), or they provide little cigarette bins outside the front. Everybody just goes out to the street to smoke.

I assume it'll be the same in france. They've been talking about allowing for "fumoirs", little cabin-type smoking booths that will be well ventilated, although they don't seem to have quite figured out how these will work - all the talking heads on tv this weekend were fairly hazy about how they'll work in practice.

John: Don't know whether you caught De Villepin talking about it, he made some hilariously anti-Sarko remarks about "no matter what happens in the election".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I Have seen smoking in shops and it shocked me! Especially on Rue St. Honore where some of the clothes are quite expensive! Can you imagine buying a 1200 euro pair of pants that smelled of cigarettes?

Smoking in the hair salon was the one that has most shocked me...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to steer this back to food, French restaurants, etc.

I think it's fair to say that everywhere I've heard that smoking bans have been imposed, proprietors insist it will drive away customers and one-two years later, followup articles show no drop in patronage.

Second, I ate at Fish two weeks ago at night and at any one time there were 2-6 patrons outside smoking, perfectly contentedly and energetically discussing whatever (now it was a spectacularly warm evening not freezing drizzle, but....) It is my understanding (Phyllis correct me) that it was the wait-staff there plus the sympathetic owners who imposed the ban. Other reasons are small size Cerisaie + Temps au Temps + Lucullus when it existed, and the rule of no smoking where food is prepared Atelier de JR.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a (semi-) reformed smoker smoker I tend to notice someone lighting up in a restaurant the way I (as a former bachelor) notice an attractive woman walking in -- with a bit of happy nostalgia. That being said, during three weeks in France this summer, I hardly noticed any smoking at all, certainly not in the better restaurants. As we were travelling with my daughter, our time hanging out in cafes and bars was limited; maybe we just weren't in the right rooms to smell that distinctly French parfume of Gitanes and pastis. But, to a large extent, this almost strikes me as much ado about rien.

I do hope there will be some exception for bar-tabacs, however. Somehow they have become lodged in my mind as the French-est of French establishments, moreso even than the grand restaurants, and I would hate to see their numbers decline or their owners -- the inevitably slightly cranky, determindly non-English-speaking old guy with a sly smile and an opinion about politics and football -- forced into another line of work.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Second, I ate at Fish two weeks ago at night and at any one time there were 2-6 patrons outside smoking, perfectly contentedly and energetically discussing whatever (now it was a spectacularly warm evening not freezing drizzle, but....)  It is my understanding (Phyllis correct me) that it was the wait-staff there plus the sympathetic owners who imposed the ban.

I spoke with Juan and Drew when they imposed the ban on their restaurant and the staff was a concern in regards to it. It certainly has not suffered one bit from the ban. I am actually looking forward to this. I only wish it was sooner. Occasionaly I would have to put the evening's clothing out on the balcony in order to get a good night sleep in my apartments! :laugh:

Edited by Raisab and John Talbott for content and errant html symbol respectively.

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry if this is not primarily about food, but I'm coming to this debate a bit late.

Unlike the CPE, which was a hastily patched-up reform of employment conditions and massively impopular (up to and including some representatives of employers), the tobacco laws are a matter of public health, and one that has been discussed for quite a long time in France. Not a hasty reform project but a long-standing debate finally coming to its conclusions, after gradual evolution. Quite a different matter. I don't think there is any risk of heavy demonstrations except of tobacconists; people care for their health, and that includes the smokers.

Someone at the government hinted that it would make sense to accompany those laws with free healthcare programs aimed at helping people quit smoking. The aim is really not so much to freshen the air in restaurants than to lessen, at length, the number of smokers in France, and it is expected that some will find it a good opportunity to drop the cig at last.

Though I don't smoke (except a cigar every so often when I'm offered a good one :wink: ) and I heartily welcome those laws, I feel a little sad for the cafés. I think at least it should still be possible to smoke in our troquets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the smoking ban's been operational in Scotland for a while now and I have to say I'm a big fan of it.

While punters enjoy their food/drink in a smoke-free atmosphere and are able to avoid coming home smelling of pub (ideal for those post-work sly pints :biggrin: ), smokers just pop outside the restaurant/bar/pub for a smoke. At least in France there should generally be less need for umbrellas/wasteful patio heaters to keep them dry/warm...

PS

Edinburgh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an analogy take drinking for instance. Should it not be regulated in the workplace? In the name of personal freedoms and equality, should we allow workers to booze during their work hours? I think it is widely accepted that the health hazard to other workers is a reason enough to uphold this type of ban on alcohol in the workplace.

Smoking is no different in my eyes. We have enough empirical data that confirms second-hand smoke to be a serious health danger. I think it is the duty of any government to intervene if employers refuse to protect their workers. When harm is inflicted to innocent bystanders, this debate leaves the personal liberties platform and enters the civic duties arena.

I still don't understand how people view this issue as a "liberty issue" or a "l'égalité pour tous" issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, we're bordering on the medico-philo-political. I'm not opposed to conducting such discussions on a Public Health site but this is the France Forum of the eGullet Society whose purpose is "to increase awareness and knowledge of the arts of cooking, eating and drinking, as well as the literature of food and drink."

John

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's fair to say that everywhere I've heard that smoking bans have been imposed, proprietors insist it will drive away customers and one-two years later, followup articles show no drop in patronage.

This just in from Expatica "The Groupe Flo chain of popular eateries recently banned smoking in some establishments and says there has been no effect on business."

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still don't understand how people view this issue as a "liberty issue" or a "l'égalité pour tous" issue.

If you are quoting me on here, you have misunderstood. The equality for all statement I made is that different jusrisdictions will all have the same laws, so that is where everything will be equal.

I am excited that this is coming about. For one, I think the aromas and tastes of the food will certainy be enhanced due to the lack of cigarette smoke.

Edited by raisab (log)

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lordy. If we think the French are grumpy now...

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The truth is this has been coming for a while and the French are not really surprised. We'll moan and groan (one of our favorite past time after all) and then we'll move on. The new generation is a lot less into the smoking this than its ancestors (Sartre, Camus, Gainsbourg are all a thing of the past). I think it will be a smooth transition and there will be not demonstrations (although we love a good demonstration whenever we can).

Voila, c'est tout!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[...]I do hope there will be some exception for bar-tabacs, however.  Somehow they have become lodged in my mind as the French-est of French establishments, moreso even than the grand restaurants, and I would hate to see their numbers decline or their owners -- the inevitably slightly cranky, determindly non-English-speaking old guy with a sly smile and an opinion about politics and football -- forced into another line of work.

Interesting line of discussion, Busboy. The Bar/Tabac doesn't exist in the U.S. in any analogous way to the way it exists in France and some other European countries (e.g., Italy). We have lots of convenience stores and "smoke shops" in New York, et al., and there are a very small number of cigar bars (I have the misfortune of having one on my block :angry:), but the Bar/Tabac (and Bar/Tabaccaio) is a place to get bus tickets, stamps, cigarettes, and a drink, among many other things. So what the Bar-Tabac will do and be in the future is open to question. Is there a precedent elsewhere (such as in a different European country) involving a truly similar institution (where you could hang out and drink) that was forced to prohibit smoking inside even though it was the place to buy smokes?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...