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Leave the Cigarettes at Home When Visiting France!

Feb 27, 2008
Tourists heading for a ski holiday in France or her capital Paris may want to consider kicking 'butt' on their smoking habit. Starting in France this year, smoking is now banned in all places that serve the public. That includes private businesses. Although 24 hours of grace was given for tipsy New Year's party-goers, by midnight January 2 every smoker needed to 'butt out'.

Naturally, French business owners are worried about the impact the smoking ban will have on profits. For this reason, businesses were given the option of installing an airtight, self-contained, fully ventilated smoking room. Now patrons who can't sit through dinner without giving into the urge for a smoke can do so in these rooms without offending others.

A surprising number of business owners, however, won't bother with a smoking room. Some cite the extra cost as a factor. Others simply say they support the ban on smoking, recognizing it as a national health issue. They simply prefer to encourage healthy lifestyles.

It may also have to do with the fact that about 75% of France's population is in favor of the ban. It seems French smokers are in the minority. Business owners understand that most patrons want to enjoy dinner out without someone blowing smoke in their faces. Many restaurant, bar, and club owners have simply decided to cater to the majority.

France is not alone in its stand against cigarettes. A number of other European countries have similar bans, or at least partial bans, on smoking. Other areas that have adopted "no smoking" policies listened to business owners voice similar concerns about profits dropping after cigarettes were snuffed out.

The smoking ban didn't make as big a dent in most business profits as was predicted. Many businesses did see an initial drop. Very shortly though, smoking patrons returned, deciding that it was better to give up smoking than eating out. Not surprisingly, non-smokers picked up much of the slack in business. Today, most business owners in 'no-smoking' areas report that the law has either made no difference in their bottom lines, or that business has actually improved.

Locals and tourists are still allowed to light up outside in many places. Restaurants with outdoor dining areas can seat smokers outside and stay within the law.

Perhaps French business owners should consider themselves fortunate to have this much latitude. Several major cities around the world have enacted bylaws that restrict even outdoor smoking. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada prohibits smoking within five meters of any door through which the public enters and exits. Vancouver, another Canadian city, no longer allows restaurant patrons to light up in outdoor dining areas.

In Andorra, a small country neighbouring France known for her ski holidays, smoking is still allowed in bars and restaurants. As Andorra is a tax haven cigarettes are cheaper than elsewhere in Europe. And ironically Andorra enjoys the longest average life expectancy of any country in the world - go figure!

While it seems that French smokers are slightly disgruntled by the smoking ban, most have grudgingly accepted it as reality. Many recognize that other parts of the industrialized world have already led the way in this effort. Some smokers have even said that it is the 'push' that they needed to give up their own habits. Overall, the French ban on lighting up in public has been received with accolades. So, if you're planning a French vacation, think about leaving your cigarettes at home.
About the Author
For holiday information about Andorra including snowboard and skiing holidays visit YourAndorra.com

The ski information includes the Soldeu ski resort.
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