The nation that gave us the words “cigarette” and “nicotine” has joined the no-smoking club. A new ban on lighting-up in offices and public buildings in France comes into force today. The country has joined the growing list of states to introduce such measures. Some restrictions were already in place.
It is a two-stage process – at the beginning of next year the ban will be extended to bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Enforcing the new rule will be another matter as authorities disagree on whose role it is.
The government has also introduced incentives to help people kick the habit, handing out coupons for nicotine patches and chewing gum. Health Minister Xaxier Bernard says the government is taking advantage of the ban to encourage people to give up.
Only in offices where companies have set up special sealed cabins will smoking still be possible. But it is an expensive option for an employer and not one the government is keen to encourage.