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So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

  • January 3rd, 2008
  • Posted by Sian Graham

cigarette.jpgSuccess seems almost assured for New Years revelers in France and Germany who resolved to quit smoking in 2008.

Both countries introduced new anti-smoking legislation from Tuesday (1.1.08) which introduces a full ban on lighting up in cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs.

Beginning on Wednesday in France (2.1.08) smokers who wish to indulge their habit outside of their homes can do so only in designated sealed-off rooms of pubs and clubs.

This is the latest legislation to come into force under French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin?s 2006 decree which banned smoking in public places including, government offices, schools and hospitals from last February.

FINES NOT AS TOUGH AS AUSTRALIA

In France individuals will face a €63 (A$105; dcerates.com, 3.1.08) if caught lighting up while licensees found not to be enforcing the bans will be forced to pay €135 (A$225).

In Germany where almost a third of the population smokes, eight more states joined Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemburg and Hessen in introducing partial bans across restaurants and clubs.

The penalties for disobeying the anti-smoking bans vary from state to state with Bavaria imposing some of the toughest bans across all beer tents, pubs and restaurants.

Berlin has enforced strict fines ranging from €100 (A$167) for an individual offence to €1000 (A$1675) for licensees.

But Australia remains one of the toughest anti-smoking countries in the world with legislation covering advertising practice, businesses and individuals increasing across all states since 2001.

Penalties in Queensland rise significantly from A$150 on the spot fines for individual offences to criminal prosecution and up to A$10 500 for licensees caught allowing patrons to smoke.

A NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF EUROPEAN TRADITION OR A LEG UP ON NEW LIFE

For years Europe has been seen by many as a last bastion for “smoking freedom” but it too has finally succumbed to the harsh realties laid out by health practitioners and scientific researchers :- Smoking kills.

Not everyone it seems is willing to accept the legislation.

EuroNews reports one French man as saying: “I am going to try to smoke anyway; the law is the law, but, as they say, not seen, not caught.”

Reference:
EuroNews, “Anti-smoking grace periods in France and Germany”, 1.1.08.
http://www.euronews.net/index.php?page=info&article=462412&lng=1 (3.1.08).

IHT, “French smoking ban: The end of a way of life?”, 1.1.08.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/01/opinion/edmaier.php,(3.1.08).

Queensland Government, “Summary of tobacco laws”, 1.6.06.
http://www.health.qld.gov.au/atods/tobaccolaws/existing_laws.asp, (3.1.08).

Spiegel Online International, “German States to Ring in 2008 with Smoking Ban”, 31.12.07.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,525980,00.html
(3.1.08).

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