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The End of Smoking in France?

2 Jan

This post has almost nothing to do with wine, except that cigarettes often go well with wine (as with many other things: coffee, World War II, seedy hotels, the 1940s, Russia, women).

And I admit that the title of this post is a bit extreme. To my defense, I just recently finished an excellent biography of Theodore Roosevelt, wherein the Spanish-American War (“Cuba Libre!”) broke out and the yellow press stirred up jingoism that knew no bounds. My writing, therefore, will probably be more sensationalist than usual.

That being said, the New York Times reported a smoking ban that went into effect on Wednesday in France. According to the article, “smoking has been banned in every commercial corner of ‘entertainment and conviviality’ — from the toniest Parisian nightclub to the humblest village cafe.”

french-women-smoking.jpg

I can see why this had to happen. The article cited statistics where more than 70,000 Frenchmen/women/babies die from smoke- and second-hand smoke-related illness every year. If Amélie were to have worked in that little Parisian café for the rest of her life, chances are she would have died of emphysema at 65.

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