France plans ban on public smoking

Paris :

France, the nation that produced iconic chain-smokers from Jean-Paul Sartre to Jean-Paul Belmondo, is poised to ban smoking in public places from early next year. Cigarettes will immediately be banned from places such as offices, universities and railway stations, but cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs could get an extra year to prepare. The French prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, was last night preparing to make an announcement. Around 12 million people in France smoke and there are 66,000 smoking-related deaths a year. — The Guardian