“Dieu est un fumeur de Havane” (God is a Havane smoker) used to sing provocative musician Serge Gainsbourg who would ad, “Je suis un fumeur de Gitane” (I am a Gitane smoker) –‘les Gitanes’ being those non-filtered cigarettes that would blacken one’s lungs pretty fast. Despite that, many other French people used to smoke “des Gitanes”. So what’s the news?
The Good News
- Good news No.1: French people now smoke cigarettes that are lighter and therefore less stinky.
- Good news No.2: A law was recently passed that forbids smoking in public places, so that you won’t necessarily smell like an ashtray after spending the night in a bar or a club!
The Bad News
- Bad News No.1: The French still smoke a lot, at the end of a meal especially, while sipping an espresso.
- Bad News No.2: Smokers tend not to care too much if they’re bothering you.
Avoid smoking areas
What to do in front of such adversity? Well, you certainly won’t change the French, so just remember to ask for non-smoking areas in bars and restaurants and non-smoking bedrooms in hotels and trains. Unless you’re a smoker yourself that is… In that case, smoke away –NOT!! “Fumer Tue” (Smoking kills) as indicated on every French packet of cigarettes.
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