deja vous – French smoking ban a threat to cafe culture

French smokers are holding their breath with fear that cafe culture –
one of their country's cultural gifts to the world – will be
extinguished when a ban on lighting up in public places comes into
effect. France is the latest EU member state to be forced into a smoking ban.

We will all have that sense of deja vous, as we watch carefully to see how the French react to the EU imposed ban, to see whether they mildly accept it in the same way the British have watched their own pub culture being ripped apart.

France's bars, nightclubs and restaurants will all have to display no smoking signs from Jan 2.

Businesses are installing new outdoor areas for smokers, but a vocal
minority predict that the ban will strike a mortal blow to the
country's cherished cafe culture. But Roselyne Bachelot, the health minister, vowed a “zero tolerance” approach, with offenders facing a £50 fine.

The initial reaction is exactly the same as we saw in the UK when the smoking ban came into force.

“It's going to be a real mess,” said René Le Pape,
president of the Confederation of Tobacconists, which has about 30,000

“What are we supposed to do? Call the gendarme when a loyal customer of 30 years lights up? This law is inapplicable.”

At the Café Macumba in Pezens, near Carcassonne,
south-west France, there was a sense of good-humoured rebellion among
the five regulars who were all smoking and sipping demis (about a half
pint of beer) at 11am. The bar is one of just two in the village and is
a key meeting place for its 1,600-strong population.

out a cigarette, Fabienne claimed that her personal freedom was being
undermined. “You can take out the first word from our motto: Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity,” she said. “We can no longer do what we like.”

and public health officials have been ordered to enforce the law but
with “discernment” – suggesting that the government wants to ease into
the ban without any major incidents.


We watch with anticipation as to how the French will react, because in the new EU, national cultures, traditions and history have no place and are being slowly destroyed. It will just be a homogenised authoritarian super state.

It is interesting to note how the smoking ban has been carefully managed and introduced into the member states in stages, so that it does not affect all countries at the same time. The EU method of drip drip drip, salami slicing so that we do not notice its effects and avoiding a Europe-wide revolt.

Ireland's ban, the first in the EU, was introduced in 2004, quickly followed by Sweden, Belgium and Malta in 2005.

Italy also followed suit in 2005 – But the Italian government doesn't seem to be interested in adhering to
its own laws: While citizens obey the ban, clouds of smoke can be found
in one public building, according to Italian newspaper La Republicca: The Palazzo Chigi, Italy's seat of government.

And in the UK whilst the ban affects the entire population, smoking is still allowed in the bars of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

In January 2007, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou made clear the prospect of EU-wide legislation if nations did not fall into line.

Do as I say, not as I do.

European Union – Destroyer of Nations


About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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0 Responses to deja vous – French smoking ban a threat to cafe culture

  1. Anonymous says:

    With the smoking ban due to come into full force in France on Jan. 1, I hope the French show more resistance to the ban than the English did.
    The ban has almost killed off the typical English pub culture and certainly killed one of the few social pleasures of millions of people – a drink and a cigarette with friends in a warm and friendly English pub. Smokers are now treated like lepers, forced to smoke in huddles outside, whatever the weather.
    It won't be long before many rural pubs have to close. Traditional English pub life has been destroyed forever.
    The French are known for their individualism and their record at standing up to the authorities is impressive. I hope they put up more of a fight than the English did to protect their café culture.