Café Americain

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France is expected to ban smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants, sometime during the next year. The ban, which probably will be imposed through an administrative decree extending earlier restrictions, would allow businesses to let customers smoke in "hermetically sealed areas, furnished with air-extraction systems and subject to extremely rigorous health norms." Although this option may be prohibitively expensive in most cases, it makes the French policy more tolerant than California's ban, which ostensibly permits separately ventilated smoking rooms but effectively prohibits them because state regulators never wrote the ventilation standards. Also, I don't think the French government has gotten around to banning outdoor smoking yet. But once French cafés go smoke-free, can a foie gras ban be far behind?

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  1. Soon cries of J’Accuse! will ring in the streets, and the Fifth Republic, sadly, will collapse. And, somehow, with no warning and no explanation, German troops will be seen marching on the Champs-?lys?es. And Richard Dreyfuss will be sent to Devil’s Island in disgrace.

  2. France just might become a country worth visiting again. The last time I was there (2003), smoke was so thick in the restaurants that it was disgusting. Here’s to banning smoking everywhere.

  3. is this part & parcel of the suspiciously French looking Al Gores attempt to link cigarttes to global warming?
    Am I alone in being more distressed by Global Smarming, with guys like M Moore, Bill Mahr & Gore contributing massivly to this horrible blight?

  4. Here’s to banning smoking everywhere.

    Am I alone in being more distressed by Global Smarming…?

    MUTT,

    Add this “UT” character to your list, please.

  5. German troops on the Champs? I say, this time
    let’s let the French deal with it all by themselves. (Of course, they do have nukes and the Germans don’t.)

  6. Good luck!

    Ever been to CDG? It has assigned areas for travellers to smoke.

    But that rule is roundly ignored.

    Oh, and UT. Your steak tar tar totally ruined my appetite. I say we ban it all over the world as well.

  7. I remember from when I took a comparative politics class (way back during the Cold War) there was an old saw that went something like…

    In the United States, if it isn’t illegal it’s legal. In West Germany, if isn’t legal it’s illegal. In the Soviet Union, even if it’s legal it’s illegal. …and in France, even if it’s illegal it’s legal.

    France was held up as a developed nation without much in the way of legitimacy regarding these laws. I don’t know the nation of France, but from what I’ve heard, it wouldn’t surprise me if they made a law like California’s smoking ban and just didn’t enforce it.

    Although this option may be prohibitively expensive in most cases, it makes the French policy more tolerant than California’s ban, which ostensibly permits separately ventilated smoking rooms but effectively prohibits them because state regulators never wrote the ventilation standards.

    So maybe we could append the old saw to say, “In California, if it isn’t regulated it isn’t legal.”

  8. I was going to say: “Just another reason to hate the French.” But if they are simply following the lead of other “progressive” nations who have seen fit to trample on their citizens’ property rights…well, I just have to feel sorry for them.

  9. “But once French caf?s go smoke-free, can a foie gras ban be far behind?”

    Or a ban on “Freedom Fowl”?

    Just as long as they don’t ban throwing black cats out of sixth story windows.

  10. France used to have Europe’s “strongest” anti-smoking law, that being a law requiring non somking sections. But I lived in France for a while and noticed that whenever the smoking section in a restaurant/cafe filled up the non-smoking section would quickly become the smoking section.

    Like they do in most things, the French have surrendered with a wimper to the smoking bans.

    At least a neighboring, semi-francophone country (la Suisse) still allows you to smoke in malls, restaurants, or wherever the fuck you want.

  11. Instead of smokers, the French ought to be forcing the politicians who _wrote_ this damn law into “hermetically sealed areas, furnished with air-extraction systems” … and preferably with no air supply systems of any kind.

  12. I am shocked, I guess I’ve been out to a smoke free lunch, because I didn’t realize the Frogs banned smoking. I mean, doesn’t French law require all citizens to smoke Gitanes?

    This is never going to change folks. Too many people have discovered that dining in a smoke free environment is to their liking. And you know how democracy works.

  13. I’ve been out to a smoke free lunch

    I readed (just to make sure you know it’s past tense) that as “I’ve been out to smoke a free lunch.”

  14. I’m shocked, shocked to find that smoking is going on in here!

  15. Now if they could just do something about the dog poop in the streets of Paris…

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