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France and Germany: Ashtrays removed from cafes and restaurants today

Posted in: France

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No smoking in France
Photograph courtesy of Two-Zero's Diary

Throughout France today, 2008 was ushered in with a countrywide smoking ban in restaurants, cafes, and discos that smokers have been anticipating for months. In early 2007, a similar law banned smoking in public spaces and work places, but this is the biggie — no more smoking at the table, over an espresso, or on the dance floor.

Although the law was to go into effect at midnight December 31, officials decided not to enforce the law until Wednesday, as the removal of ashtrays at midnight on New Years Eve could disrupt the party. We can respect that.

Reports in the Associated Press and AFP indicate that smokers in Paris today have mostly been following the law,  stepping outside cafes to have a quick smoke.

Meanwhile, in Germany, eight states, including Berlin, also have non-smoking laws going into effect, banning smoking in public places. The measure, however, seems more flexible – as fines won’t be imposed for the time being (until the public “gets used to the law”) and restaurants are still able to have separate smoking rooms.

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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