Paris Saved for the Moment: French Hold Maginot Line Against Smoking Nazis

In January, Michelle told us “J’aime fumer en France!” One can still light up a cancer stick at their Parisian cafe. From The Smoker’s Club:

Paris smokers and tobacconists puffed their cigarettes in relief on Thursday, happy they would not have to light up in hermetic cabins in the future after the French government postponed legislation to ban smoking in bars.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, weakened after a months-long crisis over a youth jobs law, on Wednesday delayed the proposals for a ban on smoking in public places and called for months of consultation on the issue.

Anti-smoking campaigners complained the government had sacrificed the health of millions to avoid a new controversy so soon after the humiliating jobs law debacle.

But smokers were happy.

“I love my daily coffee and cigarette,” said Louisa Bunz, 47, as she smoked in a central Paris bar.

Bunz said the government’s idea of making restaurants tobacco-free and force smokers into hermetic, ventilated phonebox-style cabins without drinks and food was ridiculous.

“It would be like a little smokers’ prison cell,” she said.

If I lived in France, I’d be digging in for a new wave of attacks and certainly not resting on my laurels. The enemies of freedom prefer sneak attacks right before dawn.

3 Comments
  1. The smoking issue is one that confuses me lately… While I see supporting the freedom of choice, I think there are different ways to look at the bans on indoor smoking (in public buildings). Why? Well, for the sake of simplicity, if you look at the basic doctrine of “let people do what they want as long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others”, smoke in public places is definitely infringing upon everyone who isn’t smoking. And in a major health-issue sort of way, too. I think the health risk and annoyance factors outweight the convenience factor (like stepping 10 ft to go outside) in at least some cases.

  2. The collectivist assertion that private businesses are public places doesn’t make it so. Restaurants, cafes, bars and other private businesses are not public property, despite what you and the beer Nazis in Texas might say to the contrary.

    This fight isn’t about public health or any other euphemistic phraseology the state chooses to utter. It is about government dictating to private businesses what they can and can’t allow on their property.

    I don’t have the patience to repost what has been discussed here hundreds of times suggesting that a free market will develop smoke-free businesses for those who want it. So search and read, if you like. You should also check out Penn & Teller’s Bullshit episode on the absurdity of the second hand smoke “epidemic.”