Friday, May 23, 2008

Defense de Fumer!

As of January, 2008, all restaurants, bars, and cafés in Paris are non-smoking. At eating establishments, smoking is allowed only outdoors. In fact, smoking is banned from all public spaces in France. Most Parisians, though, have adjusted to the change with an ease that has taken everyone by surprise, especially considering the longstanding French cultural tradition of protesting and flouting the rules whenever possible. Count me among those who are truly astonished that Parisians are accepting (and heeding) this new law.
So we close the door on the stereotype of the black-clad, chain-smoking French intellectual writing in a Parisian café (as I recall, Jean-Paul Sartre was rarely photographed without a cigarette).

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