The Null Device

Au revoir, Gauloises

As Britain struggles to adopt a "Mediterranean drinking culture" not involving binge drinking and public disorder, across the channel, an equally radical cultural change is being planned. France will ban smoking in all public places from February. Which does seem like a drastic change for a country like France, famed for its strongly aromatic cigarettes and prevalence of public smoking (it is the only country in which I have seen a police officer throw his cigarette on the ground as he entered the police station), though apparently 70% of the population support the ban. And let's not forget that the first European country to ban public smoking was Ireland, also known for its tobacco culture.

There are 5 comments on "Au revoir, Gauloises":

Posted by: Mon Oct 9 10:43:04 2006

The french are clean-lunged lovers of fresh air compared to the animals of southern Europe (i.e. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece) and you can take my word for it.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org/ Mon Oct 9 11:22:36 2006

I have a hard time taking the word of anyone who doesn't give their name.

And the Italians didn't seem to smoke too much, at least not in Florence and Tuscany.

Posted by: Bizarro bizarro.typepad.com/lowbagger_world Mon Oct 9 15:58:06 2006

I think it's fair to say that there is a cosmic shift happening in the attitudes of Europeans towards smoking. I remember my first job interview on the continent, one of the interviewers chain smoked the whole way through, even offering me a cigarette before he told me his name. It was a surprise to this lad from Oz who'd just come from a Sydney where some of the harshest no smoking laws in the world had just been introduced. That same organisation, less than 5 years later, has introduced a world-wide ban on smoking in its offices, even in countries where no such laws exist.

I know Spain very well, and the culture there is undergoing a radical shift and one that a great many people agree with. Non smokers who previously had to put up with their smoking colleagues sparking up where ever they felt are finding their voice. Gone are the smoke filled Tapas bars and along with it the gritty taste of ash in your tortilla, and not a moment too soon I say. Although I enjoy the odd post parandial, not always with to

Posted by: datakid Tue Oct 10 00:48:35 2006

Yeah, Tassie, and soon Victoria, will have harsher smoking laws - mostly based around pubs and clubs - already you cannot smoke in areas where food is served.

It's interesting to see how much power the Hotel and Pub industry has at a state level - they are the biggest screamers, although there's nothing quite like a smoke free environ in which to see a band - you can "see the band" for a start.

From what I remember, when similar laws were introduced in California, business for Pubs and Clubs increase by 25%, contrary to what we are hearing from the Australian Hoteliers Assoc. around the country - the bigger problem is "where to put the smokers" - recently a Victorian Civil Tribunal ruled that they couldn't smoke outside and may potentially mean that pubs that don't have outdoor smoker's areas will have to close (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/smoking-bans-may-threaten-pubs-clubs-licences/2006/10/02/1159641265048.html ps the search function on teh abc.net.au is shite)

On that note, it is also

Posted by: datakid Tue Oct 10 00:50:22 2006

My comment got chopped? Here's the rest:

On that note, it is also worth saying that it would appear that one of Victoria's biggest exports, tobacco, is also feeling the heat, so to speak - Phillip Morris can get it cheaper elsewhere: http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/last-gasp-near-for-tobacco-growers/2006/10/04/1159641394789.html

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