Many things stood out to me on my first visit to France. Notably, French restaurants/cafes in Paris avoid the EU smoking bans in an almost comical way. Attached to the restaurants’ exterior is an almost pseudo-greenhouse structure that technically counts as “outside” so people are allowed to smoke. The pseudo-greenhouses have thin glass walls and a door to keep cold air out. It is effectively a separate smoking area, much like when restaurants used to have smoking and non-smoking sections that people voluntarily sat in. Additionally, the thin glass walls make it almost certainly more expensive to heat the added smoking shelters.

A few things I gather from this:

  • Restaurants will find interesting ways to evade laws that are ridiculous.
  • This smoking ban has the unintended consequence of raising energy usage and costs.
  • People in Paris give a generally less terrible stigma to cigarette smoking than people in many parts of Scandinavian countries.