Bonjour Fumeurs

I’ve been wondering for a while what’s been happening with French smokers. The impression I’ve gained is that there is widespread disregard for the law, and there are plenty of places where people have just carried on smoking. But I didn’t know for sure, because the reports have been intermittent.

But, H/T Harleyrider, it seems that French smokers have been getting about as fed up with antismoking rules and regulations as smokers elsewhere. Nation:

The Union for the Rights of Adult Smokers (UDFA) says it represents a potential 12.5 million voters and intends to fight against the spread of no-smoking zones or rising cigarette prices.

French smokers have formed a lobby to “defend their rights” against what they perceive as unfair curbs imposed by the state, the group’s leaders has said.

The Union for the Rights of Adult Smokers (UDFA) says it represents a potential 12.5 million voters and intends to fight against the spread of no-smoking zones or rising cigarette prices.

French smokers have formed a lobby to “defend their rights” against what they perceive as unfair curbs imposed by the state, the group’s leaders has said.

The Union for the Rights of Adult Smokers (UDFA) says it represents a potential 12.5 million voters and intends to fight against the spread of no-smoking zones or rising cigarette prices.

Chairperson Nathalie Masseron said: “We are being barred from cafe terraces, some want to ban us from parks with children, some hotels are non-smoking, soon a smoker won’t be able to rent a flat and there’s even talk of banning smoking while you drive,” she said.

With the first round of France’s legislative election on June 10, the new group is hoping to catch the attention of politicians.

Masseron said there were an average of 21,600 smokers in every constituency — “which is a lot when you know that most MPs are elected by a margin smaller than 500 votes”.

H/T also to Thomasdbell in the comments for finding their website,  which is still under construction.


Nathalie Masseron is the president of the association of the “Union for the rights of adult smokers.” A movement that until then was “neither organized nor represented,” says she. The idea? Getting the views of the 12.5 million adult smokers in order “to prevent actions that go against public health, public finances and interests of smokers.” The creation of this association to defend the rights and freedoms of smokers is part of an observation: the government collects 13.6 billion euros in taxes on tobacco, or 80.20% of the price of a pack of cigarettes, said Nathalie Masseron. We will no longer be seen as’ pigs to pay “, she insists, citing a recent parliamentary report often put forward by the tobacco industry and tobacco shops.

“No to the infantilization of adult smokers”

“We have banned outdoor cafes, some want to deny us access to parks where there are children, some hotels are non smoking, soon we will no longer rent an apartment if one is smoking, there is even talk of banning smoking in the car! “Pounding the association president who claims that speech is not given only to tobacco when he debates on the subject. What about minors smoking? Nathalie Masseron say for prevention but against “the infantilization of adult smokers.”

The new French organisation makes its appearance just as the Isis website also appears, quite independently.

And it arrives just a few days after I’d asked if anyone knew anyone in France who might be interested in conducting the Isis survey, which is just starting up. With luck, there’ll be an email address in a few days. We already have the questionnaire translated into French, so it’s not as if anyone in France would have to do any work.

(We’d also like the survey in Italian. Any Italian speakers out there?)

And it also comes just a few days after I posted up a piece about the, erm, non-existence of things called ‘rights’.

So how am I going to square that?

Quite easily. ‘Rights’ are one kettle of fish. But ‘droits‘ are something completely different, comprenez-vous? Bien! D’accord.

P.S. This post got 61 hits from France on the day it was published. I usually get 5-10 hits from France most days.

About Frank Davis

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23 Responses to Bonjour Fumeurs

  1. As someone who is half French, has lived in France since 1997 and lives only 4 miles from Lille (a major city), I have never seen a public place where you could smoke indoors since 2007. Yes the law lets owners have a separate and ventilated room for smokers, where no staff can enter, but no owner would ever invest in that. There maybe are only a few private clubs in Paris that have such facilities (which is why I think people should fight for more than just separate smoking rooms in the UK). As for breaking the law, there are maybe a few cafés in every big city that let you smoke inside an “enclosed terrace”, even though it’s illegal, and maybe a few places in the touristic south, but that’s about it. Go inside your average café or restaurant and light up, and you’ll be asked to stop, maybe even thrown out.
    So the situation really is as bad as in the UK for the average person. I just thought I should make that clear.
    As for the ISIS survey, I would be glad to take part, but the only people I could interview would be students of my age, some of which aren’t even the legal age to smoke, and most of which started smoking after the bans, and don’t regularly visit other public places than their school/university. Therefore my surveys would not reflect the average opinion.
    I would, however, be glad to help in any other way (translation, for example).

    • Frank Davis says:

      As for the ISIS survey, I would be glad to take part, but the only people I could interview would be students of my age,

      Thank you. That would be very helpful. We have a French version of the questionnaire in preparation.

      But why could you only interview students of your own age?

      • Well, because I live in a small village with no bar or restaurant, and the only other place I can visit easily at the moment is the town where I study, where there are nearly exclusively students during week days. I would be glad to interview those students if this can be helpful however, even though the numbers will probably not be very high.

        • Frank Davis says:

          I see. Well, I’ll send you our French translation as a pdf file when it becomes available (which should be very soon), and you can see what you think of it.

          In some ways, it’s a questionnaire which is more intended for oldies like me, for whom the smoking ban has been a tremendous blow. We were talking about how young people might feel about such bans, and I reckoned it wouldn’t be such an upheaval, because it wasn’t something they’d been used to all their lives. I reckoned that instead they’d feel cheated out of a lifestyle choice that they thought was available to them. But I don’t know. You tell me.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Greece to Leave Euro Zone on June 18: Wealth Manager

    Greece will leave the euro zone on June 18 if the populist government wins the country’s elections on the 17 as the rest of the euro zone rounds on “cheaters,” Nick Dewhirst, director at wealth management firm Integral Asset Management, told Monday.

    The euro zone is a club but you get cheaters who get away with it until everyone finds out and at that point you need to remove them otherwise everyone will cheat. It’s better for Greece to leave,” Dewhirst said.

    He added that Greek society was built on cheating and scheming, saying “everyone does it” but that voters elsewhere in the euro zone were now calling Greece to account.

    “The basic question is that a German has to increase working from 65 to 67 and that is to pay for Greeks retiring at 50. The 17th of June is the perfect opportunity to say either ‘we’ll behave’ or ‘we’ll carry on cheating,'” he said.

    Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sparked criticism in Greece after saying that Greeks needed to start paying their taxes, with Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos accusing her of “insulting the Greek people.” Greece was forced to call for a new round of elections, which will take place on June 17 after the country failed to pick a decisive winner in elections earlier this month.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The first question up:

      Who thinks the greek smoking ban will survive for very long as the smoking germans with money create tourism dollars in greece! We are at a ledge I believe in the smoking bans in europe quite possibly!

    • So. No change then (Pardon the weak pun). It just means my bloody Euros will have to be converted to Drachma before filling the lazy bastards pockets.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        I heard they were creating a whole new currency not the Drachma anymore.

        • Aye O.K. Then I will change trhat just fore the pedantic wee shits; “So. No change then (Pardon the weak pun). It just means my bloody Euros will have to be converted to Drachma/Or whatever the coinage shall be known as, without any specific legaly binding implication as to the final name whether it be Drachma, Euro II, or any other name by which it shall be known, before filling the lazy bastards pockets.”

          Happy now?

  3. raymond barfoot says:

    dear frank and other veiwers, as for greece leaving E.U. ABOUT BLOODY TIME!!! the eu has played fast and loose with facts for too long as it is.maybe the holy zealots have jumped the shark. also i hope people are as fed up with the anti-smokers lies as i am just sayin. raymond barfoot

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    More good news for england

    Hospital’s u-turn on total ban on smoking
    One of our region’s hospitals is being forced to perform a u-turn on it’s total ban on smoking. Managers at the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston in Norfolk are building three shelters for smokers to prevent people from having cigarettes outside the main entrance. They say despite signs around the grounds visitors and patients still light up.

    And Frank it lookss like Spain is right behind Greece comming up!

  5. smokervoter says:

    Frank, I’m well aware that your blog emanates from the UK but something tells me that you’ve got a sizable California audience as well. As a native of the Golden State I can tell you this – you’re one of us at heart. You would have fit right into pre-Nanny 50’s-60’s-70’s-80’s California quite well.

    We smokers are all in this together. The Battle Royale pitting us against the legendary imperial wizard of the white smocked Anti-Tobacco Klan, Stanton Glantz, is entering the home stretch as we speak. The epic showdown takes place in California on Tuesday, June the 5th.

    If we prevail it will be a glorious victory over this vile creature who has dedicated his life to making life miserable for us with all the fervor of a Jim Crow Era rabble-rouser. We will cut this smoker-money junkie’s supply off at its source.

    Every single smoker in California needs to set aside some time on June 5th and get into that voting booth to strike down Proposition 29. If 70% of the states’ 4 million smokers did so, I’m convinced we alone could defeat it. But as we know all too well, there are both those who are too lazy and apathetic to show up and, worse yet, there are some who are so bent out of shape by society’s pliers that they’ll vote to increase their own taxes.

    I’ve done some research and maths on the subject and now conclude that it will be the non-smoking swing voters, and specifically those of the Progressive persuasion that will make the critical difference in the outcome. I’m confident that most Republicans are in the NO camp, but fence-sitting RINO’s need some gentle pressure to live up to their commitment to free enterprise and their aversion to the Nanny State.

    Long drawn out comments tend to make eyes glaze over, so I’ll drop back in with the bottom line on my election maths further down the page. Stay tuned.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Last I heard 29 is going down in defeat. At least its what polling was showing last week…………

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Ive been quite busy making life miserable for Nazis in east ridge tenn today who are trying to pass an outdoor ban.

      City of East Ridge to consider banning smoking at parks

      The problen they have is Tenn is a preemption state

      I called the city attorney in Johnson city and they have no outdoor ban as reported in this story. The city Attorney knows full well the state law! Tennessee has a smoke-free law that provides partial protection against exposure to secondhand smoke in public places. The law preempts local communities from enacting local smoke-free restrictions.​ ​ta_statistics/state_data/stat​e_highlights/2010/states/tenn​essee/index.htm

      I also called he city of East Ridge,I dont think this proposed ban is going anywhere!

  7. smokervoter says:

    Using past June California primary elections as a guide and applying some of my own homegrown mathematical adjusters I predict that roughly 5,400,000 will show up on June 5th. The Republican primary has lost its significance now that Romney has prevailed. It would have helped us if the race was still undecided. The California Republican Party has actually chipped in $1 million to the No on 29 campaign. But there are those pesky, annoying RINO’s to watch out for.

    I’m also hoping that some of the Ron Paul voters will show up and be true to their libertarian leanings by voting No on this ballot-based assault on personal liberty.

    There are about 4 million smokers in California.

    The magic number is 2,700,001 No votes for the win. If the presidential election average turnout of 54% materializes, we’ve got 2,073,000 smoker voters to work with. Let’s say that 75% vote no and, unbelievably, a quarter masochistically vote yes. That gives us 1,554,800 No votes. We still need 1,145,201 non-smokers for the win.

    This represents 21.2% of the non-smoking electorate or one-in-five. As we all know, California now has a 60-40 progressive slant. We need to peel off some of their votes along with the stray RINO Republicans to pull this off. It will be close. Every vote counts.

    Incidentally, the 1,554,800 smokers voting No would represent about 40% of overall California tobacco community. Do you think we can get 4 out of 10, in other words a minority within a minority, to step up to the plate? If not, there is no hope for any of us. We are doomed ultimately to outright criminalization for the mere possession of tobacco.

  8. irocyr says:

    Frank, my computer is down again (probably dead now) and I don’t have the address to get into the ISIS blog. Plse. send me an e-mail with the address and password to get in.
    Many thanks,

    • Frank Davis says: ?

      Unfortunately I don’t know what your password is. WordPress hands those out, not me. I’ll see if I can re-invite you…

      Couldn’t do it. The thing said “The user already has a role”, which was true. So I then deleted you from the list, and went back and tried to reinvite you, and it just said “The user already has a role”.

      The only way you’ll get back on is with a new email address. I’ll get you a gmail address and password, and mail it to you at your usual address. Or you can get one yourself.

  9. irocyr says:

    Testing testing

  10. (For some reason, I wasn’t able to reply directly to you, so I’ll post this as a separate comment)

    Frank, I think you’re right in saying that most young people don’t react strongly to smoking bans. Smokers tend not to care that much, even though they do occasionally speak with a little regret about the days they did not get to live when tobacco prices were low and you could smoke indoors. But as I said many support, or at least do not disapprove of the bans, either because they claim it makes the cut down on their smoking (it seems to be quite fashionable to smoke, but to constantly claim you want to stop), or because they believe all that passive smoking nonsense.
    As for non-smokers (especially those who have no smoking friends), they tend to believe what they have been taught by the state since they were children, through ads and some biology classes, and they are therefore in great part anti-smokers.
    However, I have noticed that after talking to people about what I know about both the anti-smokers and their science, most smokers will agree against most anti-smoking laws, including the bans, and many non-smokers will act in a more tolerant way towards tobacco. With appropriate public information, I believe therefore that the current anti-smoking climate could be reversed, even among young people, in a few years. Of course, I am just dreaming about that.
    Hope this could give you a little extra insight.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Sounds like quite a few students you know will be approving of smoking bans then! Which will be an interesting finding. The French translation is still in construction.

      • The only other detail to bear in mind, though, is that non-smokers might not want to take the time to fill in the survey. I will see what I can do.

        • Frank Davis says:

          It’s basically intended for smokers. But non-smokers are welcome to fill it in.

          It’s also very quick. In my trials people have gone through it in under a minute.

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