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AlexR

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Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by AlexR » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:04 am

Hi guys,

This may seem like an odd thing to post on a wine board, but I know that some of you come to France for vacation from time to time.

Like most smokers, I too support the ban, and will be happy to smoke at home, other people's homes, or outdoors.
Passive smoke does harm others, and I have had meals ruined by people smoking a couple of inches from me in a restaurant.

Of course, this being France, a country that has always had a big problem with changes of all sorts, there will be rear guard action and threats from the bars, restaurants, cafés, and tobaconnists, but they have no hope of winning.

28.3% of the French population smokes as compared to 20.9% in the US.
[url]http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabagisme#L.C3.A9gislations[/url]

Heck, if the Irish and the ***Italians*** have recently accepted such a ban, I'm sure the French can...
There's a partial ban in Spain.
Curiously, the ecologically-minded Germans have not followed suit.

A wine lover and smoker, it has nevertheless astonished me to see people come into a fine restaurant, light up as soon as they sit down, and *then* smoke between all the courses.

This will soon be a thing of the past.

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Rahsaan

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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Rahsaan » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:07 am

28.3% of the French population smokes as compared to 20.9% in the US.


I also wonder about the differences in the socio-economic profile of smokers between the two countries. I was just jabbering about this the other day in the cheese shop, as I suspect that smokers are more concentrated among people with low socio-economic status in the US, whereas the profile would be more mixed in France.

Which then in theory would mean that the smokers in France had more potential for effective lobbying. But, of course we've seen all kinds of effective lobbying tactics in France that are not necessarily correlated with ses, so..
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Tim York » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:34 am

I've just returned from Italy. At first I couldn't quite fathom why restaurant and café rooms seemed more agreable and then i realized that noboby was smoking. What an improvement! Be warned, however, that people do still smoke at the tables outside on the street pavements where we usually found ourselves because our Jack Russels were also tolerated there.

A smoking ban in public places is about to be introduced in England and already applies in Scotland. There are complaints from Scottish pub owners that trade has fallen off. If true,this tends to disprove the contention (which applies to me) that there is a large untapped market for drinking in pubs among non-smokers who are deterred by the traditionally smoke filled pub rooms.
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Neil Courtney

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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Neil Courtney » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:42 am

New Zealand bars and clubs have been smoke free now for about two years. Initially it was all doom and gloom from many of the patrons, but now I don't think anyone is concerned at all. Work places have been smoke free for a lot longer, and now in some work places the smokers can not even go down to the basement, or outside if they are anywhere near to the air conditioning inlets. They must go out into the open air car parks, even if it is raining. Not that it concerns me at all. I have smoked less than a dozen or so ciggies in my life, and I'm not sure why I even did that. Perhaps it was the quantities of beer involved at the time....

Passive smoking was something else alltogether though. Many a long hour in smoke filled bars in my youth, when the majority of drinkers smoked in the bars.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Josh » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:39 am

http://www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbc ... /109290141

Bermuda smoking ban just went into effect.

I agree with the opriginal poster.

Funnily enough, when the fancy wine bar opened last year it was smoke free from the start. It was not a hard decision between the wine bar with clean air and Burgundy vs. the pub with Carlsberg and windows that you could not see out of because of years of smoke.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Josh » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:41 am

If I recall, New York and California led the way in banning smoking in restuarants.

Now, new york is mulling a law that would limit the amount of saturated (or trans can't recall which) fat in restuarant food.

Hmmmmm.....
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Josh » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:41 am

...nanny state? :?:
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Rahsaan » Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:50 pm

nanny state?


I don't know about New York State, but the New York City metropolitan area certainly has large numbers of nannies. Busy professional lifestyles and all.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:02 pm

Interesting that I have always perceived the French to be much worse at smoking in restaurants than the Italians. Just personal anecdotal experience/perception though.

Although I expect Italians smoke about as much as the French do, I have had far fewer problems in Italian restaurants than in French with smokers.

And hey, if the Irish can give up smoking in pubs, then anyone can!

In California, when the initial bans went into effect in restaurants and drinking establishments, some places had initial fall offs in traffic and revenue....but that didn't last for long (I'm speaking on the average here, not the specific, because I have no doubt that some establishments did go out of business). All the reports I've heard or seen indicate that the average revenues came right back once the society adjusted, and there was no deleterious long term effect.

I find it even more interesting that a goodly number of smokers are actually supportive of the bans. It's not just the non-smokers who object to someone else polluting a room for everyone.

One side note: since I do an awful lot of business travel, I can tell you that when I do go into states/communities that allow smoking in restaurants and bars, I tend to avoid them as much as possible, preferring those places that are smoke free, or my room (which is always smoke freee by request). If I do have to go into a smoking establishment (for work reasons), I stay for as short a time as possible....which means I spend as little money as possible in those places. Were they smoke free, I'd stay longer and spend more money.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Bob Ross » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:09 pm

I'm with you, Hoke. New Jersey has recently barred smoking in bars -- they used to allow it and a number of places had bars as part of the restaurants.

There's been an enormous amount of chitchat about lost of freedom and the nanny state -- but I often ask smokers outside the wine bars what they think about the ban.

Almost everyone I've asked told me they like the smoking ban -- they enjoy the wine bars more now.

Same thing happened 15 years ago when the Jersey commuter trains got rid of the smoking cars -- the great majority of smokers preferred the change after the first six months of p and m.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Randy Buckner » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:14 pm

I was pleasantly surprised this year when we went to one of our favorite Paris restaurants and they were smoke free. I am used to doing a low crawl in and out of the place to avoid the smoke layer hanging over the dining area like LA smog.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Bob Ross » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:30 pm

What great news, Randy. Last time I was at Taillevent, the EU had a "smoke free" day. Even my guest had to light up three times.

I've worried that Parisians are so addicted they can't stop smoking -- good news indeed.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Ian Sutton » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:52 pm

I'm looking forward to seeing the change in Italy. It's quite amazing that it has been accepted by the populace (who when presented with a requirement to wear a helmet when riding a moped, did so, albeit slung over their shoulder :roll: ).

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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Tim York » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:52 pm

There is a sort of institutionalised combative streak in the French (witness the ability of street demonstrations - "la rue"- regularly to overturn legislation) which makes me think that the smoking ban in public places will be less painless than in Italy and Ireland. And, who knows? If the French succeed in seriously diluting their ban, it may affect other European countries.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Glenn Mackles » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:25 pm

I do not smoke cigarettes and I also prefer nonsmoking establishments. But I am saddened by this unstopable trend to legally restrict smoking in private establishments. I just personally believe that the market could easily accomplish almost the same result without laws. I would let the owner of a private establishment adopt any smoking policy they desire. I know that if I was given the choice between a smoking and a nonsmoking restaurant or bar I would spend my money at the nonsmoking establishment every time. I think the majority of people would make the same choice. And yes, some places will take longer to get on the nonsmoking bandwagon than others, but I do not think the trend of fewer and fewer people smoking cigarettes is going to change. Therefore, I believe over a reasonably short period of time the market would demand that most establishments become nonsmoking without any laws being necessary. I just find it offensive to have the government legislate private legal behavior in private spaces on private property. And if they can legislate and ban this legal behavior in private places, exactly where does it stop?

Glenn

Edited to add....

I give as an example the Marriot hotel chain. Recently they went to totally nonsmoking hotels chainwide. There was no law requiring them to do so. Simply the demand for smoking rooms was way down and the complaints from nonsmokers was way up. The market wins again.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Otto » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:56 pm

Good news - mostly. Though I do favour such a law and would hope that Finland would adopt it, I also hope that it would come with a caveat. I like the occasional cigar. Currently I smoke about 2 / month. Right now it's still possible to smoke outside as it isn't too cold yet, but where will I go during the winter? I used to go to a pub with a good friend of mine to share a couple superb beers and a smoke. I probably am being dualistic, but I think that establishments that have for years prided themselves on getting a superb range of quality cigars should be allowed to have a smoking area. So what I am getting at is that though I hope that "bars" will be smoke-free, I also hope that there will be such things as "cigar-bars" where smoking will be allowed.

Of course, determining which will be allowed to be cigar-bars is practically impossible. But still, dreaming is permitted isn't it?
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Ian Sutton » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:21 pm

Otto
Maybe there will be such a thing over time - a cigar bar in a handily placed location "on the way home from the restaurant" might be a good move. I could see that working in (say) Amsterdam around Liedsplein.

I don't smoke but have stood up for smokers before, particularly when I saw a staff survey that was the most biased "the decisions already made folks, we're just using this survey to justify it" I've ever seen. Needless to say I filled in all the fields that supported smoking and explained my disgust in their tactics at the end. As a stats graduate it's the sort of thing that offends.

I currently don't go to pubs much, due to growing to dislike smoke (the dislike grows the more exposure you have to smoke-free environments). That might change once the ban is in force.

Slightly off-subject, have you seen the comedy show "The smoking room"? I've seen very little of it, but it's such a great setting for the kind of situation comedy that's been a big success over here in recent years. Might be worth looking out for.

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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Covert » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:09 pm

I wish I could remember the town, maybe Denver, maybe Aspen, where a smoking ban has been in effect long enough to have produced results in fewer hospital admissions for cardiovascular events. Admissions declined 30% just from the ban. These bans will save taxpayers billions in fewer Medicare bills for emergency surgeries, respirators, etc. And as it was pointed out, businesses do not suffer even in the mid-term. Eliminating trans fats might have an even greater benefit to taxpayers, and children and spouses who like to see their loved ones around (but we need to add palm oil and the like). Unfortunately, as we look further and further into programmed cell death, we will probably eventually find virtually everything that we like responsible in some way.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Robin Garr » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:23 pm

Hoke wrote:In California, when the initial bans went into effect in restaurants and drinking establishments, some places had initial fall offs in traffic and revenue....but that didn't last for long


As you may know, Hoke, even here in Kentucky where tobacco is king, Lexington has a fairly strong restaurant smoking ban and Louisville a relatively weak one. There was (and still is) the expected moaning and gnashing of teeth, but I know of NO closings credibly associated with the ban.

In at least one case (Jack's Lounge at Equus, which you may recall from your time here), the owner told me that after making the decision to go 100 percent no-smoking (no separate smoking area, no smoking at all), his gross after two weeks of the first month exceeded his gross for the full month before it when the main section was smoking. This may be slightly anomalous because this is a fancy spot frequented by an upscale demographic, and smoking here is becoming strikingly inversely proportional to socioeconomic status, income and education. But it's still further evidence that the "put us out of business" argument is just silly.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Robin Garr » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:29 pm

Glenn Mackles wrote:And if they can legislate and ban this legal behavior in private places, exactly where does it stop?


Glenn, with all respect, this argument simply doesn't apply. Remember that restaurants, hotels and similar facilities are not private places like your home is a private place.

I'm not a lawyer (whew!) but as I understand it, legally, they are places of public accommodation, and under hundreds of law and precedent, the community has clearly established the principle that such places need to be regulated to ensure the public health and safety.

There are literally hundreds of laws and codes that appropriately govern public accommodations, and they range from fire safety to food sanitation to child labor, access to people in wheelchairs and much more.

It's not even a close call to extend this principle to public smoking, which is demonstrably offensive to many people and arguably unhealthy to innocent bystanders - both diners and staff - and I'm quite sure that this issue has already been amply litigated.
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Glenn Mackles » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:35 pm

Covert wrote:I wish I could remember the town, maybe Denver, maybe Aspen, where a smoking ban has been in effect long enough to have produced results in fewer hospital admissions for cardiovascular events. Admissions declined 30% just from the ban. These bans will save taxpayers billions in fewer Medicare bills for emergency surgeries, respirators, etc. And as it was pointed out, businesses do not suffer even in the mid-term. Eliminating trans fats might have an even greater benefit to taxpayers, and children and spouses who like to see their loved ones around (but we need to add palm oil and the like). Unfortunately, as we look further and further into programmed cell death, we will probably eventually find virtually everything that we like responsible in some way.


Does anyone really favor a world where the government legislates what legal activities you can and cannot do and what you can or cannot eat? I think that everyone ought to have every right to do as they wish with regard to bad habits and eating and exercise. However, I strongly disagree with any mandatory requirements. Taken to it's logical conclusion, some might say that there ought to be limits on alcohol consumption, for health reasons, of course.

Glenn
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Bob Ross » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:41 pm

"However, I strongly disagree with any mandatory requirements."

Wow, none at all, Glenn? Are there any governmental requirements that you think are appropriate?

I'm only asking to see whether it's worth thinking about your position. If you do believe some mandatory requirements are appropriate, I'd appreciate reading what they might be, and what standard you would apply to decide whether they should be implemented or not.

Many thanks, Bob
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Glenn Mackles » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:53 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Glenn Mackles wrote:And if they can legislate and ban this legal behavior in private places, exactly where does it stop?


Glenn, with all respect, this argument simply doesn't apply. Remember that restaurants, hotels and similar facilities are not private places like your home is a private place.

I'm not a lawyer (whew!) but as I understand it, legally, they are places of public accommodation, and under hundreds of law and precedent, the community has clearly established the principle that such places need to be regulated to ensure the public health and safety.

There are literally hundreds of laws and codes that appropriately govern public accommodations, and they range from fire safety to food sanitation to child labor, access to people in wheelchairs and much more.

It's not even a close call to extend this principle to public smoking, which is demonstrably offensive to many people and arguably unhealthy to innocent bystanders - both diners and staff - and I'm quite sure that this issue has already been amply litigated.


Robin...

I don't disagree with what you say. However, I just have the personal opinion that this is very different from food safety issues and in essence is very, very wrong. In each of the other regulations areas you mention, the very activity being prohibited is illegal.. i.e. it's illegal to serve tainted food or not to have fire exits. In this case the activity being prohibited is perfectly legal. You make it sound like people are forced against their will to be exposed to smoke. They have every right not to work in a smoking establishment or to patronize it. I view it as an invasion of my rights and privacy very much the same as bugging my phone. Please excuse an old fart that simply doesn't believe the government has any business telling people what legal activities they can do or what they can eat... or drink.
And please note again this is simply a matter of principle to me... I do not smoke cigarettes.


Glenn
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Re: Smoking ban to be introduced to France in 2007

by Glenn Mackles » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:06 pm

Bob Ross wrote:"However, I strongly disagree with any mandatory requirements."

Wow, none at all, Glenn? Are there any governmental requirements that you think are appropriate?

I'm only asking to see whether it's worth thinking about your position. If you do believe some mandatory requirements are appropriate, I'd appreciate reading what they might be, and what standard you would apply to decide whether they should be implemented or not.

Many thanks, Bob


Reiterating once more this is simply a matter of principle to me. To me the difference is whether or not the activity we are talking about is legal or not. If you want to outlaw smoking... that's one thing. But so long as smoking is absolutely legal, then I am very hesitant to say that a business owner cannot allow a perfectly legal activity to take place on his own private premises. I believe that it would be absolutely fine to require warnings to the public... perhaps a large sign would have to be over the door warning that there was smoking inside... similar to warnings on the cigarettes themselves. I would also have no problems with prohibiting children inside... because smoking (or at least purchasing cigarettes) is illegal for children. Under the antismoking ordinances I am aware of, smoking is allowed in cigar stores.. why is that? Personally, I really don't think people need the protection of these laws now. Is there anyone that doesn't know of the dangers of tobacco? I also know of no situations where people are required to be exposed to the smoke... they are free to leave. But what you are saying is that that people who choose to smoke cannot do so even if it doesn't impinge on anyone unwilling. To me that is wrong.

Glenn
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