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article imageFrench revolution in cafe society: a total smoking ban

By Chris V. Thangham     Jan 2, 2008 in Politics
France’s most iconic institution, the smoky café, are going to become a faded memory. The café used to boast some of finest thinkers, so what will happen to the modern thinkers?
When someone thinks of France, its cafes come to mind first. They are the symbol of free spirit, with smokers puffing away on cigarettes with drinking coffee. Any movie filmed in France will have a scene or two showing that scenario.
But all that will change, when France brings its smoking ban to bars, discotheques, restaurants, hotels, casinos and cafes beginning Jan. 1.
France had a limited ban on smoking in certain areas such as in workplaces, schools, airports, but the New Year rule extends the no-smoking rules to almost all public places.
A former smoker Lisa Zane, a Chicago-born singer who lives in Paris, said at Le Fumoir:"The French culture associated with smoking is a 20th-century thing but we won't forget the experience."But many bartenders and restaurant workers are welcoming this ban because they are the ones who get affected the most and have to deal with excess smoke and cigarette odors on their clothes.
The Health Ministry brought this ban after they found one in two smokers die of smoking-related illness, and 5,000 non-smokers die each year from second-hand smoke inhalation. They say one in four persons in France is a smoker. With this ban, they may see a decline in this ratio.
There will be no smoking allowed indoors except in homes, hotel rooms and private smoking chambers.
Some bar owners and disco operators worry they may see a drop in the business because of the ban. Christophe Mgo, bar owner of Le Marigny in Paris said to AP: "The tobacco-bar is part of the French tradition. They will surely stay less time and they will only drink one coffee or beer, instead of two."Some smokers like Daniel Marierouyer at Le Fumoir are not happy with this ban and government interference. Marierouyer said the decision should be left to the individual. However, the French government will start enforcing the smoking ban beginning this year.
Other European countries like Italy, Ireland, Germany and Britain have also started to enforce a smoking ban in their countries.
So, what do you think will happen to French modern thinkers now? Will this ban affect their thinking; will we see less radical ideas from them because they can no longer smoke?
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