BARS, restaurants and tobacconists are to be subject to increased spot checks under new reinforced anti-smoking measures in France. A goverment circular has been sent to all préfectures this week, amid concerns that many public places are still ignoring the law on smoking inside.
Smoking in enclosed public places has been banned in France since January 2008. But is the ban working?
Unfortunately the smoking ban has had an impact on our local social life - the owner of the only bar in our nearest village had to sell up a few months after the ban was implemented because it decimated his business.
I believe that the Spanish implemented a better system whereby small establishments declared themselves either "smoking" or "non-smoking" and displayed a clear sign at the entrance, and larger places were non-smoking with (optionally) a separate smoking area which was closed off from the main area, but I heard they were considering changing to the more draconian rules implemented here.
We seem to have a situation where inconsiderate smokers caused distress to non-smokers, then the backlash went too far and resulted in bars closing, reduced social interaction in the villages, and people losing their livelihoods.
In answer to your question, the rules do seem to be implemented here. I think that the smokers just stay at home unless the local bar has an outside area where they can indulge their habit, and the bar owners just try to survive on their reduced income.
On the subject of smoking on beaches, I think banning smoking in the open air is ridiculous, but smokers should be careful not to leave cigarette ends lying around in public places, or cause inconvenience to others. Take a tin with a lid for the smoking detritus - it's not difficult. Both sides of the divide should be considerate to the other.
The smoking ban seems to be working but banning it outside near non-smokerwould be a great thing and not only on beaches!
We often have problems eating outside in the summer in restaurants because more often than not we get smokers in the table next to ours and have to move away or go inside.
I think that smokers should do more not to bathe others in their smoke, especially when people are eating! They talk about their rights but what about ours? And the idea that if you are outside the smoke disappears into nowhere is not true at all, the people around you are hit in the same way people in an enclosed space are!
Maybe what we need is more respect from the part of the smokers because not all problems should be solved with bans but well, I suppose by now we can't expect that anymore! And the idea that you only have to worry about a child's health is ridiculous! I am an adult but I want my health and my wellbeing respected as well!
In the Toulouse area particularly we have noticed increasing numbers of people smoking under canopied areas of bars and restaurants.
An annoying habit is for smokers to wait until they have finished their meal before lighting up, then with elbow on the table, holding the cigarette away from their faces whilst a continuous stream of smoke blows into your face - ruining your whole meal.
Please can the smoking ban relate to all public areas!