You will see the lozenge shaped red sign on small shops and cafés throughout France. I saw this one on Ave. de la Motte Picquet in the 7e.
"Le Tabac" is the only legal seller of cigarettes in France, but, as you can see from the other signs, you can also get your lotto and metro tickets here! They also sell magazines, newspapers, tourist maps, postal cards and "les timbres fiscaux" -- to pay the fees for such things as passports, & driving licenses.
Click on the second picture for a view of the new "tabac" sign I saw in several locations. There is a bit of a dust-up at the moment as the tabacs are trying to defend their turf from the desires of Parisians to be able to buy things more conveniently.
There isn't a whole lot you can do about the preponderance of smoke in Parisian cafes and restaurants. You can consult the website below for some advice on restaurants with non-smoking areas as well as smoke-free restaurants.
The irony of this photo is that the young man with a cigarette in his hand is exiting the medical school just across from Hotel du Danube in the 6e!
Smoke haters must lose their minds in Paris.
I quit (for health reasons) some time ago, but when others smoke it doesn't enrage me like it does some people. I just figure they (smokers) are as stupid as I was, and everyone is allowed to be stupid at some time in their life. I've made a career out of it.
Truth be told I still smoke (only outside or in my favorite bar) when I go to Paris, then quit when I go home, so feel free to start throwing things at any time.
"La mort à l'hypocrite ! !" ..... (thunk ...)
Watch out in Paris if you don't like smoke, as it seems like people smoke everywhere, though this appears to be definitely changing, and despite the 'group-think' / political correctness of the non-smoker lobby, all things considered that is probably a good thing.
UPDATE 1/17/'07 -
Art Buchwald, a world-class columnist who lived, ate, loved, drank & wrote in Paris for almost 2 decades (post WWII until the Kennedy administration of 1960) died today at age 81.
A true Paris gourmand, writer, flaneur, and former notorious cigar smoker, known for ruining other peoples meals at Coupole and Tour d'Argent with his awful stogies-
had some great quotes about Paris / smoking in his Washington Post column:
Adieu to the City of Lighters
written in the last year of his life. Some quotes below:
"It is hard to imagine France as a smoke-free country.
Only the old movies will show people smoking. If "Casablanca" were filmed today, Humphrey Bogart's nightclub would have signs all over it saying "Sans Fumee" (No Smoking).
Imagine the hookers in Pigalle standing in doorways, biting their nails.
A French friend, Henri Fouquet, said, "When Americans stopped smoking, their culture went downhill. It will happen in France." "
Adieu Art - we will miss you.
All the above - © 2007 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive & Art Buchwald
Well Charles de Gaulle, needs some improves at least on the area of Air Europa. I had been told, that Air France area is much newer and nicer.
Anyway, we had to go out for the toilets (out of the waiting area) and no smoking room at all .... but as a French friend told us.. common this is France, (smoking under a no smoking sign restaurant area lol).
So, when in France do as French do!
Apparently in France, they don't consider it bad to smoke. So you'll frequently find that people around you are smoking a lot more than you are probably used to... unless you live in Vegas that is. Its not something that bothers me, but for people who can't stand it, you might have a hard time finding a place where there isn't anyone smoking.
Non-smokers will be relieved to find that lighting up in any enclosed space, such as inside restaurants, public buildings or the metro, is no longer allowed in France. Puffers will be equally relieved to know that pretty much anywhere outdoors is open season - and that includes the cafe terraces. It's normal to find the tables equipped with ashtrays and loads of people using them.
That said, if you really hate smoke, eat or drink inside. Terrace tables are VERY close together and you will no doubt find yourself elbow-to-elbow with a smoker. Or two. Or six. And an annoying fake cough or dirty look aimed in their direction will earn you nothing but a dirty look back; this is THEIR turf by right so deal with it.
Smoking inside a small restaurant with hardly any exhaust working is very suffocating to me and my son... So dont get offended if they do not put it their ciggies for your sake... they wont. They might say "PARDONE" in their french accent but still will not crush its butts...
I shall go to Paris and hope the fear of cigarette smoke is less than in the west. There is no reason why both nonsmokers and smokers can't have a place to go. Unless of course the nonsmokers have a problem with this???
Dispite the smoking and drinking of wine that Parisians enjoy the longevity of the french proves that the smoking issue is no issue. The average age that a parisian lives is longer than most other places. Perhaps we should take the wine away from France as well and turn it into what?