Defiance: France Page 4

France

France Update….

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Mayor of Paris announces plans to ban smoking in public parks, just days after government announces banning wine from workplace
•Anne Hidalgo says the ban aims to teach people about ‘cigarette addiction’
•Parks in the 14th arrondissement would act as ‘guinea pigs’
•73,000 people a year die of tobacco-related illnesses in France
July 7, 2014
By Peter Allen
The Socialist mayor of Paris has announced plans to ban smoking in city parks as part of a plan to cut down on tobacco-related illnesses.
In a muddled announcement on national TV on Sunday, Anne Hidalgo said the move would be an experiment aimed at ‘teaching people about cigarette addiction’.
This is despite the recent history of France’s capital being associated with famous Parisians puffing away in world-famous parks such as the Luxembourg Gardens and Tuileries.
Aware of the massive opposition that there will be to the move in a country where some 30 per cent of the country still smoke, Ms Hidalgo insisted that her ‘experiment’ would not be strictly enforced.
‘We are not into banning, we are experimenting,’ said Ms Hidalgo, who said parks in the unfashionable 14th arrondissement would act as ‘guinea pigs in this experiment’.
But the move follows a new Socialist directive which allows bosses to ban wine in the work place – leading to accusations that the very heart of Gallic culture is under attack.
Traditionally liberal Parisians are renowned the world over for sitting outside smoking and drinking as they discuss the arts and philosophy.
Smoking is now technically banned in all inside public places in France, including cafes, restaurants, stations and museums.
But terraces and other places outdoors are not included in the ban, because the chances of smokers harming those sitting around them are considered miniscule.
Smoking is also on course to be banned in public parks and other council-controlled outdoor areas in Scotland, under radical plans to make the country ‘smoke free’ by 2034.
Tobacco-related illnesses are a leading cause of death in France, with an estimated 73,000 deaths annually.
Despite massive taxes on cigarette sales, health warnings, and every more stringent bans, there are still some 16 million smokers in France.


More smokers lighting up at work
30 Jan 2012

Five years after France introduced a smoking ban in public places, a new report says more people are flouting the rules, particularly at work.
Rules introduced five years ago banned smoking in all public places, including restaurants, caf?s and the workplace.
Yet the survey conducted for anti-smoking group Droits des Non-Fumeurs (Non-Smokers Rights) found that 64 percent of those questioned said they had seen people smoking in places where it is banned.
A big jump was recorded in incidents of people smoking at work.
In 2008, a similar survey found that just eight percent of people had been exposed to cigarette smoke at work. By 2009 this had risen to 21 percent.
The most recent survey, conducted in December, found that 36 percent of those questioned had been in the presence of people smoking while at work.
A third of people also said they’d been exposed to smoke in caf?s and restaurants.
The organisation is calling for an increase in the number of inspections to stamp out the rise.
A report in June from two public health bodies said that the number of daily smokers has risen again in the last five years.
The report found that the proportion of daily smokers went up from 28 percent in 2005 to 30 percent in 2010, with women showing the highest rise.
Figures released earlier in January suggested that recent stiff price rises might be starting to have some impact, with a 5 percent drop in the number of cigarettes sold in the final quarter of 2011.
The drop coincided with price rises that have put a packet of cigarettes above the €6 level.
Health experts say it is too early to say whether the drop in smoking is permanent or just a temporary drop in sales, which often happens after a price rise.

Paris – A city of Smokers?
2/18/11
By Peter Thurgood for The Smoker’s Club
Paris was, and probably always will be, one of my favourite cities. I love its beauty, its quirkiness, and most of all its rebelliousness. No one, with the exception of armed Nazi Storm troopers, have ever managed to get the upper hand of the Parisians; if their taxes were raised too much, they would take to the streets, if bus fares went up, they would do the same, not to mention pensions and countless other things.
So how, I wondered, would I find the situation regarding the smoking-ban; how would the rebellious citizens of this great city react to being told what to do and where to do it? I had read the usual reports, as I have read here in the UK and other places around the world, that the majority are very pleased with the ban, as they all wanted to give up smoking anyway, and as we all know, ‘it is so good for both ours and our children’s health’. Also since the smoking-ban, this dastardly habit has cut smoking rates by up to 50% and undoubtedly saved countless millions of lives. This of course, is the ‘official’ figures and statistics, but what, I wondered, was the reality of it all?
My last visit to Paris was at least ten years ago, when this beautiful city, along with the rest of Europe was still relatively free. World War II had ended some fifty-six years earlier, and the fall of the Berlin Wall had signalled the demise of Communism, and opened the door to what we thought was going to be a Europe completely free from tyranny.
Just before that last trip to Paris, I had visited New York, thinking, like one would, that I was visiting the land of the free. How na?ve I was. That lovely old cigar store on Mulberry Street, complete with the antique wooden Indian standing serenely outside; I simply had to go in there, but this was my first ever glimpse of the now famous, or should that be infamous, circular ‘no smoking’ sign, which was stuck on the door of the shop. It must be some sort of joke I told myself, but the two elderly men who ran the shop didn’t see it as any sort of joke at all. “It’s Mayor Bloomberg” they told me, “he’s not just ruining our business, but nearly all the bars and restaurants in this city as well.”
Luckily for me, I managed to find a bar just down the street, where the owner, an old time Mafia associate I was told, chomped away on his cigar, whilst serving me, and the hundreds of other happy customers who still valued our freedom. This one bastion of freedom in such a huge city however, did not endear me to make a return visit to New York City, or indeed any other part of the USA, for I vowed there and then never to return. A vow I have adhered to, to this day.
Paris however, was a completely different thing, alongside every other city and indeed country in Europe. Maybe it was because Europe, unlike the USA, had a long history of being invaded and fighting oppression on every front? Liberty, I convinced myself, was what Europe was all about, after all, wasn’t Libertarianism itself born here in Europe?
We did of course, have the EEC, which had developed from the early 1950s version of what was then known as the Common Market, and even then there were a number of prominent British politicians warning us of the dangers involved if we immersed ourselves too deeply into what they saw as a new super power in the making.??
I am sorry to say, that I, like thousands, if not millions of others, sat back and ignored these warnings. I was far too busy, sitting in one or other of the typical Parisian bars, enjoying a drink and a cigarette, or maybe relaxing in a restaurant, with a beautiful Havana cigar, after finishing a first class meal. The world of oppression that we know, and so many accept today, was a million light years away, or so we thought. The cleansing programme that I had witnessed on the other side of the Atlantic, couldn’t possibly happen here, could it? Reminiscing on this now is almost akin to what many people in Europe were thinking back in the 1930s. “It can’t happen to us” they said, “the free community would never allow it”, but as we all now know, it did happen to them, and as we also now know, the so called free community, the true Libertarian, has been sidelined off, into the shadows, and is frightened to speak its mind where Freedom is concerned.
Back in those heady, early days of this century however, all of this was pure conjecture. Just to walk into a Parisian caf? and smell the strong black coffee and the beautiful aromatic smell of a Gauloise cigarette was pure heaven; it wouldn’t be Paris without this, and who could argue with this? Even non-smokers mixed happily with those who chose to smoke; there were never any animosity between these groups, such as we see today in London; smoking and Paris went hand in hand.
What then, I wondered, would this beautiful city have in store for me, when I returned there last week? Would it shatter all my early dreams of the city of freedom and rebelliousness? Would I pair this city with New York, vowing never to return there also?
With all this in mind, it was with a certain amount of fear and trepidation that I alighted from the Eurostar train at La Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris. Would I be searched to see if I had a cigarette lighter on me, and would it be confiscated and broken up in front of me, as had happened a couple of years ago at Gatwick Airport when one of their over-zealous security guards had snatched my Zippo lighter, and broken it in half in front of me, while he explained that such an item could, and probably would, bring the plane down. This was at the same time as allowing other passengers to carry ordinary disposable cigarette lighters onto the plane. I must add here, that I did complain to BAA about this, and they did apologise for the incident and eventually compensated me for the lighter.
I looked eagerly around the concourse at the station, in the hope of seeing a rebel or two, puffing away merrily, but all I saw were the universal circular signs, depicting a cigarette with a thick red line drawn through it, that were stuck on ever door. A glimmer of hope arose however once I had found myself down on the Metro, for I counted at least half a dozen cigarette butts there, and this was in spite of yet more circular signs, and the ubiquitous CCTV cameras, meaning the famous French Resistance were still alive and well, and operating here in the centre of Paris. All I had to do now was find their headquarters, or at least where their individual cells operated from.
My first port of call was the Marais district, where a good (non smoking) friend lives. Plenty of people smoking on the streets, but this is a particularly arty area with many young people living there, who do seem to be the predominant age group for smokers, so not much I could gain from this perspective. As it was approaching lunchtime, we decided to go to a nearby market, which had a number of cheapish restaurants and bars there, which my friend assured me were very good.
The first thing I noticed was that almost every bar/restaurant, had outside seating, with patio heaters and a plastic awning around it. The second thing I noticed were the ashtrays on every table. Could this be the headquarters of the French Resistance? Whatever it was, I was determined to enter, and hopefully join up.
Inside the area cordoned off by the plastic awning, it was comfortable and warm, and the waitress accepted me and my smoking habit with a friendly smile, and no irritating hand waving in front of her face, which we seem to experience in the UK. Other customers came and went, some smoked, some didn’t, but the atmosphere at all times was warm and friendly, just the opposite to the intolerance smokers are subjected to here in the UK.
Needless to say, I went to a number of other restaurants, bars, and cafes while in Paris, and at a guess, I would say that approximately 80% of them had this same type of plastic awning surrounding their outside seating area. In other words, the needs and comforts of smokers are well and truly catered for. Also catered for, are the needs of the non smokers, who have the whole of the inside of the building, which is normally half empty compared with the outside area, in which to enjoy their self imposed segregation, if they so wish.
Late at night, outside areas in the bars that cater for the young and trendy crowd, get so full that the crowds spill over onto the pavements, with at least 80 to 90% of them smoking.
When I visited a Tabac, and bought a few cigars to take home with me, I was greeted with a smile, and made to feel like an important customer. I was even given a cigar cutter to go with them. This reminded me so much of how things used to be in the UK before our smoking-ban came into force, before our previous Labour Government decided to obey every rule to a tee, that the EU threw at us, even though the rest of Europe seem to mage to find a way round them.
To sum up my views of Paris and the smoking-ban, I would say that they are handling it very well. Both smokers and non-smokers alike seem to be happy about the way it is being handled, and speaking for myself, I will most definitely return!
Since the smoking-ban was introduced in the UK, there have been a number of attempts to overturn the law, or to amend it. I think this Parisian idea of using these plastic shelters should be adapted here. The plastic is thick to keep in the warmth, and in strips, so that it cannot be construed as providing a solid wall, therefore bringing it within British law, which states that a smoking area should not have more than a roof and one wall. We must go for it, it would solve so many problems!
I will be going back to Spain in a few weeks, for the first time since they brought in their ban. From the little dribs and drabs of information that I have been hearing, I will hopefully find my beloved Spain on a par with Paris, we will have to wait and see.

French ignoring the smoking ban.
Jan. 30th, 2011
By La Provence
A cigarette in one hand and a glass in the other. The photograph had disappeared from nightclubs over the past three years. With the entry into force of the smoke-free legislation on 1 January 2008, which prohibits smoking in places so-called “friendly”, non-smokers thought to have ended with the untimely burns at night, itchy eyes around 4 morning or this awful smell of nicotine-treated on their clothes when they returned home.
But it was not counting on these irreducible love cigarettes. In recent months, the conclusion is clear: they are more likely to “broil it a” clubbing, in defiance of the law and their entourage. “Yes, indeed, recognizes Franck * patron of an establishment at night in the city center. It happens that some clients want to smoke. They are asked to stop, but we meet elsewhere they smoke, then, as we need to work, they are left alone . Frank has been reviewed several times. But it was never verbalized because nobody has been caught in the act. Yet, this Saturday evening in January, it is only 2 hours when the smoke has covered part of the establishment. “It’s part of the atmosphere, exclaimed Justine, 22, lit cigarette in his mouth. Personally, I complying with the law at the restaurant because it’s better to eat without a cigarette. But if, after dinner or evening, it’s true that it’s much more pleasant to smoke as before. At least it does not cut the evening “.
Not necessarily aware of the penalties they incur, consumers do so even bother going out to smoke. “This prohibition is too heavy, launches La?titia. We are all huddled outside, it’s cold and we loses the urge to have fun. ” Drift patterns of boxes that have come to accept economic arguments in support. “When customers come to smoke, they consume less, obviously, ensures St?phane * manager of another club. Because I do not smoke, I thought the law was initially good. But then we quickly realized the harm she has done. ” And if he asks his clients permission to leave the ashtrays, Stephane has never received any complaints of non-smokers. “When people smoke, it is not the same atmosphere. Customers are more relaxed, they talk longer and instead of take two glasses, they take four. For us, it’s the most important. “
Certainly. And for those who do not smoke? “Before the law, nobody was complaining” , said Stefan. “What do you want us to say?, Hugo request *, 26, server nightclub. We do will not go tell someone who smokes and you do not know, ‘put out your cigarette. “We close our eyes to maintain a business whose balance remains very fragile.”
It is 5am, the city rises smoothly. Nightclubs shut their doors gradually. Hundreds of cigarette butts littering the ground. “Anyway, everyone who cares for the law, drops a bit fatalistic Enzo *, a disc jockey used to working in different establishments. More and more it will go we will smoking again, whether in a box or elsewhere “.
The statement alone sums up a reality where smoking Marseille night, a time banned, is reasserting itself as a key element of the night. To the chagrin of those who thought it had finished with those pesky butts …


So Much for the Smoking Ban
August 6, 2010
By Karen Fawcett
When the French government banned smoking in restaurants three years ago, no one thought people would go quietly in the night. Most assumed you’d hear a lot of yelling and screaming and the tobacco addicted would ignore the law.
They were about half right. People began congregating outside bars and restaurants without terrasses and annoying neighbors. The signs suggesting that noisy patrons would not be tolerated seem to have had no effect. Screaming in the night, probably having more to do with alcohol than a craving for tobacco, is a new Paris tradition.
Not really surprising. There aren’t enough police in the world to hand out fines to all the perpetrators of cigarette smoke. French fonctionnaires aren’t completely dumb, so they announced restaurant owners would be the ones to pay and possibly have their doors closed in order to enforce the law—but if the smokers are outside their doors?
This is not to say that the smoking ban has failed altogether. Initially, people did smoke less. There were 15% fewer heart attacks reported the first year of the ban and it was looking good. But people are creatures of habit and some are next to impossible to break of their habits. In addition, statistics have shown that when the economy is down, people tend to light up due to stress.
After the government imposed the smoking ban and raised taxes on cigarettes (at today’s exchange, they’re about $7.50 a pack, that is, about the same as a pack in Washington or New York), the French did cut back on their cigarette consumption. But, that seems to be a thing of the past. In 2009, there was a 2.9% increase in the number of cigarettes sold, but it was short-lived as people resumed their former habits.
What’s especially alarming is the number of 13-to-15-year-old smokers is estimated to have increased by 66 percent between 2004 and 2008. And almost one in five French 16-to-20-year-olds now smoke, compared to one in ten just a decade ago.
On the plus side, the French smoked 97 billion cigarettes in 1991 and smoked (only?) 55 billion cigarettes in 2009. I guess that makes tobacco manufacturers and distributors unhappy—thank goodness they have Asia as a new and growing market. Come to think about it, so does Starbucks.
During the winter (whether in Paris, London or New York), you’ll see gangs of people clustered in doorways looking like fugitives getting their nicotine fixes. La vie est dure, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Now that it’s summer, it’s hard to walk down the street and not be surrounded by smokers.
Life on the street where I live has taken on a new look and feel since the weather has become more than wonderful. I’ve waved to neighbors whom I’ve never seen before since they’re sitting on their balconies puffing away. I want to go on record that I’m deadheading my geraniums, which is my idea of gardening.
Some theories as to why the French haven’t quit smoking in spite of aggressive anti-smoking ads:
Does printing “Smoking kills” and other one-liners on cigarette packs discourage smoking? By the time you’re close enough to read it, you’ve already bought the pack. Waste not, want not. And the bad news about smoking is old.
Older people frequently say that smoking is one of their great pleasures and why stop now? They may have a point, but it’s their choice.
French women are fast to say they’d rather smoke than gain weight. Plus, since they’re drinking less, it’s a way for women to socialize with one another. Unless or until there are medical reasons for a specific woman not to smoke, they’re quick to say they’ll continue to do it in moderation.
If they decide to get pregnant, most women will stop smoking. They already drink less wine, or practically not at all—much to the chagrin of the French wine industry—so that’s less of a problem, unless of course winemakers start investing in Philip Morris.
Some people attempt to confine their smoking to parties and when they’re out socializing in clubs and in after-dinner bars. That seems counter-productive since they’re forced to stand outside and miss what’s happening—unless of course the reason to go to the clubs is to stand on the street and smoke.
What’s evident and prevalent are the ever-expanding restaurants with terraces and mushrooming tables on the sidewalk. They’re doing booming businesses catering to smokers. If you want to sit outside and enjoy some sun and fresh air, expect to be inundated by second-hand smoke. There’s talk of some restaurants instituting non-smoking terraces, but as the French would say, “On verra.”
Should you be in the Rue Montorgueil area in the 2?me, there are plenty of restaurants on the pedestrian streets that have more tables outside of the restaurant than in the interior. Everyone’s eating, drinking, and smoking away. Because most doors are kept open, non-smokers are doomed if they want a smoke-free meal.
According to data from The Non-Smokers’ Rights (NSR) Association, the ban on smoking is currently being violated far more than it was when the 2007 law went into effect. In addition, restaurants have constructed enclosed terraces, initially so people could eat outside under heaters; these terraces have become de facto smoking zones. The NSR says it has conducted tests that show the air in establishments with covered smoking terraces is three times as toxic as in restaurants and caf?s without them.
It’s as if people aren’t even trying. Fewer people are buying stop-smoking nicotine patches and gum to try to diminish the need to light up.
What do you think is going to be the bottom line in France and, for that matter, in the U.S. as well? Are people ever going to stop smoking? And for those us who have (and with difficulty), are we doomed to have our clothes smell like cigarettes because we’re surrounded by others who can’t kick the habit?
Something tells me this isn’t a simply French phenomenon. What do you think?

French Ad Shocks, but Will It Stop Young Smokers?
February 23, 2010
By STEVEN ERLANGER
PARIS — A new French antismoking advertisement aimed at the young that plays off a pornographic stereotype has gotten more attention than even its creators intended, and critics suggest that it offends common decency and creates a false analogy between oral sex and smoking.
France has banned smoking in cafes, bars and restaurants. But smoking is still increasing among the young in France, according to the French Office for the Prevention of Smoking, prompting an antitobacco organization called Droits des Non-fumeurs, or Nonsmokers’ Rights, to create the ad.
The slogan is bland enough: “To smoke is to be a slave to tobacco.” But it accompanies photographs of an older man, his torso seen from the side, pushing down on the head of a teenage girl with a cigarette in her mouth. Her eyes are at belt level, glancing upward fearfully. The cigarette appears to emerge from the adult’s trousers.
Two other ads show young men in the same position as the girl, though the adult is wearing a suit jacket and a watch.
Marco de la Fuente, vice president of BDDP & Fils, the advertising firm that created the campaign, said the ads were not designed either “to please or to shock people, but to change, to put back into the news a topic we don’t talk about enough, which threatens young people.”
According to the French Office for the Prevention of Smoking, between 2004 and 2007, and 2008 and 2009, the percentage of daily smokers among French 14-year-olds rose to 8 percent from 5 percent; among 16-year-olds, it increased to 18 percent from 14 percent. A quarter of 18-year-olds are daily smokers.
“The younger you begin to smoke, the stronger the addiction,” Mr. de la Fuente said in an interview. “But young people think they’re invincible. They like to flirt with danger.” He added that young people saw smoking as a symbol of emancipation, a passage to adulthood and a “transgressive act.”
The ads, he said, try to convince them that smoking is “an act of na?vet? and submission.”
He continued: “We can’t be tepid on this subject; we have to hit hard. We are working against years of myth on the basis of films and stars, and we fight against this with zero euros.”
But the reaction on the Web site of Droits des Non-fumeurs has been mixed. One comment read, “The campaign trivializes sexual abuse — worse, it implies guilt on the part of the abused.”
Florence Montreynaud, the president of La Meute des Chiennes de Garde, or the Pack of Female Watchdogs, which opposes symbols of sexual violence in films and advertising, called the ads “unbearable” and said “what is most shocking is the banalization of sexual violence.”
She is a feminist, she said, and a longtime member of Droits des Non-fumeurs. “But it is terrible to represent in the public space this kind of image restricted to pornography,” she added. “I’m appalled. It’s a poverty of imagination. When people have no ideas, they use female bodies.”
Nadine Morano, the secretary of state for the family, said she wanted the campaign to stop, saying she found the symbolism intolerable. “One can shock on the issue of tobacco, that doesn’t bother me, but there are other campaigns to do instead of this one,” she told Radio Monte Carlo.
The president of Droits des Non-fumeurs, G?rard Audureau, said the campaign was started after being viewed favorably by high school students. For 18 years, he said, “we did it gently, on the health aspect, with deteriorated lungs, but young people feel invincible, immortal.”
The newspaper Le Parisien quoted him as saying: “Using sex is a way to get their attention. And if it’s necessary to shock, let’s shock.”
Bertrand Dautzenberg, president of the French Office for the Prevention of Smoking, doubted the ads would work. Quoted in Le Parisien, he said, “This will shock adults while not scaring kids.”


Smoking Ban? The French Light Up Again in Public
December 26, 2009
By BRUCE CRUMLEY / PARIS
When France outlawed smoking in public places three years ago, residents took the news remarkably — almost shockingly — well. Almost overnight, cigarettes vanished from offices, restaurants, caf?s and train stations as the French dutifully took their glowing butts outside — the only place where smoking was still permitted. But this being France, a backlash was almost certainly inevitable. According to a report released on Dec. 17 by an anti-smoking group, the initial obeisance of French smokers has now given way to people increasingly flaunting the law by lighting up indoors.
The Non-Smokers’ Rights (NSR) association says it has collected data and evidence showing that the ban on smoking in the workplace is currently being violated far more than it was when the law came into effect in 2007. Studies show that complaints by people of exposure to second-hand smoke at work, which dropped from nearly 43% in 2006 to just 9% the following year, has now gone back up to 21%, according to NSR. The reason? Widespread government enforcement of the law never materialized as expected, leaving employers and workers less worried about being fined nearly $200 per infraction. Some employees now light up at their desks or by the coffee machine instead of joining their shivering colleagues outside, and many bosses turn a blind eye to it. (See pictures of old tobacco ads.)
“The clear lack of inspection or punishment has inspired a small minority of smokers to ignore the ban — a lead that a growing number of their co-workers are deciding to follow,” says R?mi Parola, a NSR official. “The law was effective in getting people to accept non-smoking as the legal and social norm, and that’s now being slowly eroded.”
And it’s not just happening at work. NSR says non-enforcement is giving defiant smokers the courage to light up in other public areas. Some smokers now routinely puff away in bars or caf?s and self-policing owners and managers are often hesitant to tell them to stop out of fear they’ll anger paying clients. Worse still, NSR says, are the enclosed terraces proliferating outside cafes and restaurants across France. The temporary glass or plastic structures were initially set up to keep customers warm so they can enjoy an “outside” caf? experience in chilly weather. But when smokers were forced outside, these terraces became de facto smoking zones that other patrons now have to cross to get indoors. NSR contends that the smoke also drifts inside — it says it has conducted tests showing that the air in establishments with covered smoking terraces is three times as toxic as in restaurants and caf?s without them. (See the top green ideas of the year.)
Anecdotal evidence also abounds that French smokers are pushing back in ways that they previously didn’t dare. On some French train lines — all of which are officially non-smoking — smokers frequently take over certain cars, thus far escaping punishment. Butts are also turning up in greater numbers in Paris’ Metro. “I’m not bothering anyone, and if I am, they can go to another part of the platform,” says a man who identified himself only as Adel as he smoked in the Etienne Marcel station recently. “If I see a Metro official, cop or someone who looks like they’ll be a real pain, I won’t light up. But otherwise, why shouldn’t I smoke in the Metro when I want to and can get away with it? Especially because there are far worse smells in here than smoke!”
Down the street from the station, the manager of a plastic-enclosed caf?terrace similarly rationalized bending the rules. “This is outside, and it’s the only place where smokers are allowed, so it’s all legal,” says the man, who, perhaps aware that his enclosed smoking terrace is not actually kosher, requested that neither his name nor the name of his establishment be identified. “We have to live together, and this is one compromise to make that happen. Do you see anyone complaining?” (Read: “No (Revolutionary) Fire as France Curbs Smoke.”)
Not yet, perhaps. But one look at the countless smokers bundled up outside offices in Paris suggests that the transgressors are still a relatively rare exception to the rule. If smokers become bolder about lighting up indoors, however, non-smokers may begin demanding greater action from authorities. Even Parola acknowledges that second-hand smoke levels have vastly improved since the ban went into effect, saying his group’s current campaign is only aimed at improving enforcement enough to prevent a gradual return to 2006 habits.
To ensure that the pro-smoking movement doesn’t gain any more ground, authorities may have to do just that. Even though there are costs associated with enforcement, the government will probably still come out ahead —officials estimate that the state spends about $15 billion a year treating smoking-related illnesses. Stamping out a few butts could amount to very little in comparison.

French tobacco advertising laws force comedian’s posters to omit pipe
Monsieur Hulot, one of the greats of French slapstick comedy, appears on Paris billboards without trademark pipe
Lizzy Davies
The Guardian, Friday 17 April 2009
They have allowed him his trilby, mackintosh and engine-powered Solex bicycle. But posters hailing the return to glory of Monsieur Hulot, one of the greats of French comedy, have deprived him of one crucial thing: his pipe.
The trademark accessory that accompanied Jacques Tati’s slapstick star throughout his career has been erased from adverts for a Tati retrospective at the Cin?math?que Fran?aise after censors feared it broke tobacco advertising laws.
Instead of puffing pensively in the melancholy fashion that endeared him to millions, the star of M Hulot’s Holiday has suffered the indignity of appearing on billboards with nothing but a yellow children’s windmill in his mouth.
M?trobus, the publicity arm of the Paris public transport network, says allowing M Hulot the freedom to smoke on buses and underground metro platforms would be an infraction of the law banning advertising of alcohol or tobacco.
“It’s absurd and risible,” Costa Gavras, the president of the Cin?math?que, told Le Parisien newspaper. “I think it would have made him [Tati] die of laughter.”


La vente d’alcool et de tabac interdite aux moins de 18 ans
10/03/2009
Les d?put?s ont relev? lundi 9 mars l’?ge l?gal pour la vente d’alcool et de tabac, dans le cadre du texte de Roselyne Bachelot
Les d?put?s vot? lundi 9 mars l’interdiction de la vente d’alcool et de tabac aux moins de 18 ans et autoris?, avec quelques restrictions, la publicit? pour les vins, bi?re, spiritueux… sur Internet pour la premi?re fois officiellement en France. Jusqu’? pr?sent, la loi interdisait la vente de tabac et d’alcool aux moins de 16 ans.
Les d?put?s ont relev? de deux ans l’?ge l?gal dans le cadre du volet pr?vention et sant? publique du texte de Roselyne Bachelot (Sant?).
La distribution gratuite d’alcool ? des mineurs “est ?galement interdite dans les d?bits de boissons et tout commerce ou lieux publics”, pr?cise le projet de loi, qui doit encore ?tre vot? au S?nat.
L’opposition a salu? cette d?marche, au nom de la lutte contre le “binge drinking” (beuverie expresse), tout en regrettant l’absence d’une vraie politique de pr?vention.?
Pas de spams ni de pop-ups
?En ce qui concerne le tabac, les d?put?s ont estim? que l’interdiction de vendre ? des moins de 16 ans ?tait “mal appliqu?e”. “Il est parfois difficile de faire la distinction entre un jeune de quinze ans et demi et un jeune de seize ans. En mettant l’?ge de l’interdiction ? 18 ans, le travail des buralistes s’en trouvera facilit?”, disent les auteurs de l’amendement.
Les d?put?s ont aussi combl? un vide juridique en autorisant, avec quelques restrictions, la publicit? pour l’alcool sur internet pour la premi?re fois officiellement. La loi Evin datant de 1991 ?tait muette sur le sujet, Internet n’ayant alors pas encore pris son essor.
La ministre de la sant? Roselyne Bachelot a ?voqu? une “ouverture contr?l?e et encadr?e” en donnant son feu vert ? un amendement UMP qui autorise cette publicit?, sauf sur les sites “principalement destin?s ? la jeunesse” ou ceux “des associations, soci?t?s et f?d?rations sportives ou des ligues professionnelles”.
L’amendement pr?cise aussi que la publicit? ne doit pas ?tre “intrusive” (? l’aide de spams ou des pop-ups).?
La vente d’alcool toujours autoris?e dans les stations-service
?La ministre a pr?f?r? cet amendement ? un autre qui autorisait aussi la publicit? pour l’alcool sur Internet, mais en ?tablissant une liste pr?cise des sites o? elle ?tait permise (sites des prodcuteurs, fabricants, importateurs, distributeurs, d?taillants…).
En revanche, le gouvernement n’est pas parvenu ? interdire totalement la vente d’alcool dans les stations-service, l’une des mesures souhait?es en f?vrier 2008 par le premier ministre pour passer sous les 3.000 morts par an sur les routes d’ici 2012.
La ministre de la sant? Roselyne Bachelot a d? trouver un compromis face ? des d?put?s de sa majorit? : interdiction de la vente d’alcool dans les stations-service entre 18h00 et 08h00, contre 22h00 et 06h00 actuellement). Le texte stipule l’interdiction “de vendre des boissons alcooliques r?frig?r?s dans les points de vente du carburant”.?
L’ob?sit?
?L’Assembl?e a par ailleurs fait de la lutte contre l’ob?sit? une “priorit?” de la sant? publique, en votant dans la nuit un amendement pr?cisant que “la pr?vention de l’ob?sit? et du surpoids est une priorit? de la politique de sant? publique”, ? l’initiative de Val?rie Boyer (UMP), auteur en septembre d’un rapport anti-ob?sit?.
Apr?s un long d?bat, l’Assembl?e a cependant vot? contre un autre amendement, qui entendait interdire les publicit?s pour produits sucr?s ou gras ? la t?l?vision “dans les quinze minutes qui pr?c?dent et suivent” des programmes jeunesse.
La ministre de la sant?, Roselyne Bachelot, s’est oppos?e ? cet amendement, rappelant en substance que les publicitaires et les professionnels de l’audiovisuel venaient de signer en f?vrier une charte de bonne conduite contre l’ob?sit? infantile.
AFP
?
Bombardez le S?nat de mails et pr?venez-les: a pr?sent on “d?normalise” l’alcool.
l’ etape suivante c’ est de rendre les parents coupables s ils boivent devant leurs enfants et des taxes exorbitantes. Ensuite interdiction de boire et de fumer chez soi. www.ash.org c est PRO-GRAMM?
de plus Pfizer essaie toujours d’obtenir la licence de son poison champix aussi contre les buveurs d’alcool!
svp envoyez moi ttes les adresses des d?put?s et des s?nateurs.
Ils font ca car leurs campagnes ont fait augmentaer le nombre des fumeurs.
http://www.la-croix.com/article/index.jsp?docId=2367351&rubId;=4076


Binge drinking comes to France
17 December 2008
By David Chazan
Long considered a public problem in Britain, binge drinking is now on the rise among young people in France.
Until a few years ago, many French people were convinced that their cafe society and laissez-faire approach to alcohol made them immune to binge drinking.
But times, and drinking habits, have changed. The government recognises the problem and plans to raise the legal age for buying alcohol from 16 to 18 next year.
In some parts of Paris, municipal authorities have already targeted teenage drunkenness by declaring “dry areas” where drinking on the streets is banned at night.
These measures mark a major shift in a society which used to take pride in initiating children into the art of sipping wine with their parents from an early age.
The consensus was that this approach bred a moderate, mature attitude to alcohol.
A glass or two of wine at home over dinner, it used to be thought, protected the French from the need to indulge in a British-style Saturday night booze-up at the pub.
‘Bad habit’
But these days it does not seem to work like that any more.
“Our societies resemble each other more and more, and binge drinking, especially at weekends, has developed in recent years in France,” says Patrick Bloche, mayor of the 11th Arrondissement, or district, of Paris.
Mr Bloche has just initiated an extension of the “dry area” in his district.
“We have to fight this bad habit, this growing trend for some Parisians, especially teenagers, to gather outdoors, in public, and drink for hours until they’re drunk,” he explains.
The health ministry says the number of children under 15 admitted to hospital for drunkenness has increased by 50% in the past four years.
The number of people under 24 treated in hospital in connection with alcohol rose by the same percentage.
Dr Philippe Nuss, who treats people with alcohol-related problems at the St Antoine hospital in Paris, says one factor in the growth of binge drinking is that teenagers are now starting to drink at a younger age.
“They start drinking earlier because the family is less cohesive,” he says.
“They used to be more strictly controlled by their parents but now they tend to go out and start drinking in groups from the age of about 13 to 16.”
In France, 16- and 17-year-olds are now allowed to buy alcohol of any kind in shops, and they can order wine and beer, but not spirits, in cafes and restaurants.
The government has proposed to raise the legal age for all alcohol to 18, but some doubt whether this, or the introduction of dry areas, will be effective.
Opposition
Pierre, a 28-year-old post-graduate student who says he started drinking at 16, says it is the wrong approach.
“If you ban drinking in one area, they’ll just go somewhere else,” he says. “Even if you raise the legal age limit, teenagers will still find a way.”
Pierre says adolescents need to be more aware of the dangers of alcohol, and they need to keep busy.
“When I was 16, every weekend I was drunk with my friends because we didn’t have so many things to do and so it was funny to drink,” he told me.
Despite changing attitudes to alcohol in France, the government’s new, tougher stance has run into some opposition.
Wine-makers in Bordeaux have organised demonstrations to protest against what they see as a threat to their livelihoods at a time when the industry is struggling.
Binge drinking continues to spread in France but the consumption of wine per capita has fallen substantially over the last few decades.
Pierre says many French teenagers prefer hard liquor or beer because they associate wine with their parents’ generation.
“I never thought it would be a real problem,” says Pierre of his own drinking. “But now, I always need to drink, and that is a problem.”

One year after ban, French smoke just as much
December 11, 2008
PARIS (AFP) – One year after a ban on smoking in cafes and restaurants, French people still smoke as much as ever, the agency charged with stopping them complained Thursday.
Annual tobacco sales have remained steady since 2004 — when the French smoked 54 billion cigarettes — despite measures to severely penalise anyone caught lighting up in bars and certain public spaces.
“Measures to prevent passive smoking have not had any effect on active smoking,” warned the French Office for the Prevention of Smoking. “2008 will be the fourth consecutive year when smoking has not decreased in our country.”
The tobacco ban has been largely respected inside French bars and bistros, which often have large crowds of smokers gathered outside in the street or huddled around heaters on street-side terraces.
Restaurateurs and bar owners, however, complain that the measure has hit their custom and could force hundreds of businesses, especially small cafes in remote villages, to close their doors.
The anti-smoking agency called on the government to increase the tax on tobacco, arguing that a 10-percent price rise could cut sales by four percent and reduce the amount spent on health care for smokers.


Across France, Cafe Owners Are Suffering
By STEVEN ERLANGER
Published: November 22, 2008
SAULIEU, France — Nathalie Gu?rin, 35, opened Le Festi’Val bar and cafe here two years ago full of high hopes, after working at this little Burgundy town’s main competition, the Caf? du Nord. But this summer, business started to droop, and in October, she said, “it’s been in free fall.”
“Now there’s no one,” she said, standing in a somber room with a few sad holiday decorations, an idle pool table and one young man playing a video game.
“People fear the future, and now with the banking crisis, they are even more afraid,” she said, her eyes reddening. “They buy a bottle at the supermarket and they drink it at home.”
The plight of Ms. Gu?rin is being replicated all over France, as traditional cafes and bars suffer and even close, hit by changing attitudes, habits and now a poor economic climate. In 1960, France had 200,000 cafes, said Bernard Quartier, president of the National Federation of Cafes, Brasseries and Discotheques. Now it has fewer than 41,500, with an average of two closing every day.
The number of bankruptcies filed by cafe bars in the first six months of 2008 rose by 56 percent over the same period a year ago, according to a study by Euler Hermes SFAC, a large credit insurance company. No reliable figures are available for the latter part of this year, when an economic slowdown here has been accelerated by the general financial crisis, a collapse in consumer confidence and the quick tightening of credit.
But the impression is that business is bad and getting worse, with people and companies cutting back on discretionary spending and entertainment budgets. And that is only compounding longer-term problems stemming from changes in how people live and growing health concerns.
“The bar of a cafe is the parliament of the people,” as Honor? de Balzac wrote, but it is being less frequently visited these days, especially by the young.
Not only are the French spending less, and drinking less, cutting down on the intensity and quality of the debates, but on Jan. 1 of this year, after much huffing and puffing, France extended its smoking ban to bars, cafes and restaurants.
Marco Mayeux, 42, the bartender of Le Relais, a Paris cafe in the 18th Arrondissement, said the ban alone had cut his coffee and bar business by 20 percent.
“A place like mine doesn’t appeal to everyone; it’s very working-stiff,” he said. “There is a coffee-at-the-counter feel that isn’t attractive anymore.”
Before, clients would go inside a cafe, have a coffee, a cigarette and another coffee. But now they go out to smoke, and sometimes they do not come back, many cafe owners said.
G?rard Renaud, 57, owner of the Restaurant de L’?glise in Marsannay-la-C?te, said that business was down at least 30 percent. “Now people don’t eat,” he said. “They come in for a coffee or a little aperitif and that is it. We are used to being busy, but now we feel lazy, and it is depressing.”
Ms. Gu?rin is trying to sell her cafe, but has had only one nibble in this lovely town of some 3,000 people, much visited by tourists, where the renowned hotel-restaurant Relais Bernard Loiseau is just down the street.
Jean-Louis Humbert is the district director of the Federation of Cafes, Brasseries and Discotheques, and he is blunt about Ms. Gu?rin’s chances. “It’s finished for her,” he said. “No one wants to buy it. The banks don’t want to lend her any more money, and it will end up in liquidation.”
Daniel Perrey, 57, owner of the Caf? du Crucifix in Crimolois, blamed social change, saying: “Sadly, it is the end to a way of life. The culture is changing, and we feel it.”
People are drinking less, smoking less and spending less, and even those who drink are newly wary of the local police, who now hover near the bar, especially at night, to test the sobriety of drivers. President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked the police to crack down on drunken drivers.
“Workers don’t take taxis,” Mr. Perrey said, stroking his lavish mustache and laughing. He gleefully showed photos of a small police car wrapped around a tree in his parking lot after an accident, saying, “They had to call the firemen to get them out!”
The cafe, he said, is a kind of public living room, especially in small towns and cities, and it is suffering as habits and laws change.
“We need the cafe to have an equilibrium between the village and the world outside,” Mr. Perrey said. “Without the cafe, you lose the conviviality. You lose your mates. Business agreements are made behind the zinc” of the bar.
“We have to be very careful,” Mr. Perrey continued. “If we standardize everything in France, and we study everything, and forbid everything, we destroy respect for our culture. We need to preserve the cafe bar. What is a village but a cafe, a school, a pharmacy, a bakery and a city hall?”
Edouard Etcheverry, known simply as Doudou, with a wide, friendly face and a well-tended belly, is an “Am?lie” version of a bartender and the owner of L’Express, a crowded bar and restaurant on the Rue Saint-Honor? in Paris. He keeps his prices down — a small coffee for a euro (about $1.25), a Pernod for two.
He pointed at a customer sitting alone at a table drinking a glass of tap water. “That’s our new customer!” he shouted. Then he turned to a group of bank employees at another table and said, “You see, they got 386 billion euros from the government, but they can’t spend a cent when they come here!”
Maria and Philippe Malichier, owners of the newly refurbished Duc d’Albret restaurant in Paris, look miserable. They have 35 seats, and on a recent day at lunch the place was almost empty, except for an old Spanish couple and a lone woman. With the economic crisis, Ms. Malichier said, “now it’s a carafe of tap water, main course and off you go.”
In Paris, Bernard Picolet, 60, is the owner of Aux Amis du Beaujolais, which his family started in 1921 on Rue de Berri. “The way of life has changed,” he said. “The French are no longer eating and drinking like the French. They are eating and drinking like the Anglo-Saxons,” the British and the Americans.
“They eat less and spend less time at it,” Mr. Picolet said.
People grab a sandwich at lunchtime and eat as they walk or sit at their desks. They stand in line to buy prepackaged espresso sachets, to drink coffee at home, or have coffee at the office, at the boss’s expense.
In Crimolois, at the Crucifix, Mr. Perrey’s wife, Nathalie, runs the kitchen and works 14 hours a day. “My wife is in love with her work; she loves her kitchen,” Mr. Perrey said.
But in fact Mrs. Perrey, 37, says she feels trapped. “The crisis started progressively, but now it moves very fast,” she said. “I worry it will last a long time.”
They thought about selling, she said, but it is not necessary now. “But the banks won’t lend to us, and if we shut, we can’t get any financial support from the state,” she said. “We’d have to go on unemployment, so we’re trapped.”
Mr. Quartier and his u nion have started a school for new cafe owners, to try to teach them to find a niche, to serve better drinks and food, to think about installing a flat-screen television, to make sure they serve the favorite bottled drink among French youth: Coca Light.
In Paris, Mr. Picolet, of Aux Amis du Beaujolais, said simply: “The bar-cafes? They’re finished. Twenty years ago, people would go in the morning before work for a coffee and a cigarette. And now, it’s over. Young people don’t drink during the day, and when they drink, they drink to get wasted. Smoking is forbidden and they eat en route, with coffee in a paper cup. They smoke and drink at home.”

Read more:? France Page 3

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