Smoking Lamp has drawn attention to this:
One of the upsides of living in France is enjoying a drink or something to eat on one of the many café terraces, and be it sunny or rainy, smokers are always part of the picture.
But smoking while sitting at said terraces has become quite polarising – what stands as an irreplaceable ritual and a vital slice of France for some is a hugely anti-social habit for others.
The possibility of a smoking ban on café terraces is up again for debate, after the research institute Opinion Way published a poll that said 73 percent of the French population was in favour of such a ban.
What surprised me about this article was that the opening paragraph describes smoking as one of the upsides of French cafés, rather than one of the downsides.
In fact the whole article is surprisingly balanced for one about smoking. The antismokers’ point of view is provided, but so also is the smokers’ point of view.
…for Marc, a Paris bar owner, a smoking ban is simply out of question.
When asked what he thinks of a potential ban, he immediately frowns and mumbles: “Talk about pushing it! You already can’t smoke inside, now they want to apply the ban on terraces as well? That is really nonsense, they would kill hundreds of businesses.”
Elisabeth, a 33 year-old saleswoman could not agree more with him.
She said: “I get that it can be unpleasant for non-smokers, but an actual ban seems like a bit of stretch. First café terraces, then it is going be the streets altogether – sounds like dictatorship to me!”
They’re both right, of course. A terrace smoking ban would kill hundreds of businesses. In fact it would kill thousands of businesses. Particularly in those regions of France where smoking prevalence is highest.
And, yes, it is dictatorship. Smoking bans have always been dictatorship. Tobacco Control is all about controlling people. Tobacco Control wants to control everyone. The clue is in the name.
The simplest thing to do is allow those bars and cafés whose proprietors want them them “smoke-free” to be thus, and to allow those who want them to be smoky to have them that way. Why does there have to be a one-size-fits-all solution? Why does everything have to be the same? After all, it’s not as if restaurants all serve the same food. Indian restaurants sell Indian food, and Chinese restaurants sell Chinese food. Nobody goes into a a Chinese restaurant and orders a chicken vindaloo.
I have no objection to antismokers having their own bars and restaurants in which smoking is banned, just as long as smokers like me have bars and restaurants where smoking isn’t banned. I’d never go into an antismoking bar, because I don’t like smoking bans, and I don’t like antismokers. But Tobacco Control will never live and let live, which is why Tobacco Control must be destroyed.
Beyond all that, it seems to me to be crazy for anyone to contemplate banning smoking on French café terraces, given that France is already near a state of civil war given the continuing Yellow Vest protests, which I tend to see as being an uprising of French smokers against the antismoking Emmanuel Macron
From a recent article in ZeroHedge with the title France Is Slowly Sinking Into Chaos:
The main concern of Macron and the French government seems not to be the risk of riots, the public’s discontent, the disappearance of Christianity, the disastrous economic situation, or Islamization and its consequences. Instead, it is climate change. Although the amount of France’s carbon dioxide emissions is infinitesimal (less than 1% of the global total), combatting “human-induced climate change” appears Macron’s absolute priority.
Antismokers like Macron are obsessed with trivialities. And he’s one of those people who knows what’s good for everybody.