People in France are getting used to their government’s new ban on smoking in all workplaces. It is a radical change in a culture where for generations, smoking had a cultural and intellectual cachet. Yet the move seems to have been greeted with widespread acceptance. “It’s a very good law. I’m a smoker but not fanatically so, I mean I can do without for a day. So I think it’s a good thing in the sense that the office won’t smell of cigarette smoke any more, but I’m sure it won’t help me give up”, said one consumer.
The new regulations ban smoking in all public places including shopping centres and stations. Cafés, restaurants and night clubs have been reprieved from the measure for a few more months. They will have to come into line by January next year. “The morning cigarette with your coffee is a tradition. But when everywhere becomes a non-smoking environment, people will have to get used to it,” said a café customer. The authorities hope that their health education campaign, including a slick video, will help remove any lingering regrets about the smoking ban.