Friday, February 2, 2007

The French government has banned the smoking of cigarettes in all public places.

The ban includes no smoking in hospitals, airports, schools, places of employment and any public area that is “closed or covered.” Eleven months from now, the ban will include restaurants and cafes.

Some members of France’s Parliament are surprised to see how quick the ban was enacted.

“Nobody, not even I, thought a year-and-a-half ago that France would abandon tobacco so fast,” said member of Parliament (MP) and an advocate of the prohibiting of smoking, Yves Bur.

Police and other law enforcement agents are required to fine anyone who violates the ban. Fines for smoking in banned areas could be as much as $88.00 [USD]. Employers who do not enforce the smoking ban could be fined at least $174.00 [USD].

At least 15 million people who live in France smoke cigarettes, but a poll conducted by the French government had shown that 76% of the country’s population was in favor of the ban. 74% of the population also backs the restaurant and cafe ban to take place in one year.

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