Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Clampdown on Coffee with Cigarettes

France has cracked the whip on its smoking population which represent roughly 25% of its 60 million people. Effective today, January 2, 2008, smoking in bars, cafe's, hotels, and restaurants will elicit a $93 fine. Establishments that tolerate people lighting up within the premises face a $193 penalty. Smoking will be allowed inside the premises if a sealed smoker's chamber is installed. The move is meant to stem smoking related deaths (1 in 2 regular smokers) and those who die from second hand smoke (estimated at 5,000 annually).

Most European countries have adopted smoking bans in public places except households and streets, however, France and Germany's laws are considered the toughest implemented, following the lead of Ireland which initiated a comprehensive smoking ban in 2004.

The foremost Parisian symbol: a cozy cafe, sipping an au lait, a cigarette, a quiet corner conversation with meaningful expressions that glow in the couple's eyes, yet remain unspoken; images that exemplify "joie de vivre", will slide into memory as a thing of the past.

French romance has always been built around such scenes and has been inextricably linked with smoking. Its hard to imagine kissing someone affectionately who smells like an ashtray. Moreover, its difficult to feel romance blossoming when in place of that sweet tasting kiss you experience the passionate and wild abandon of two cigarette butts exchange burnt tobacco!

There was a French film I saw on TV where after torrid kissing, both parties blew out the inhaled smoke. Is that what they call a sizzling kiss? I've tried that once before and all I can say is that there is nothing torrid about it. It constricts the lungs and the chest pain is awful! And whoever said the French kiss was invented by the French must have omitted an important fact. With both partners having a lit cigarette in the mouth, that kiss could burn your lips and the hair on your nostrils! What happens the next morning when both have burnt swollen lips? Use their tongue instead, of course! Some invention huh?

This is the French way of living and loving and I presume it is an acquired taste. However the ban will pan out, it will affect their basic routines. They will either have more cigarettes and less coffee, or more coffee and less cigarettes. A good new product for the French would be a cigarette tasting coffee or a coffee tasting cigarette. That way, they will not suspend their romantic conversations by running inside to sip coffee, or by stepping outside to smoke.

The other option of course is to move to China. There, a lot of people are dying for a smoke!



ZenDenizen said...

At first I thought they were clamping down on that awful B&W movie that came out a few years ago. NYC has become so much more pleasant since the ban.

Tapline said...

Brad, Smoking is a word of the past. I stopped about 5 years ago. Not soon enough to stop the damage however. I now have reduced capacity in the lungs. We all have to die of something, I guess,,,Had we known the dangers maybe we wouldn't have enjoyed it as much...stay well...

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Zendenizen,the French being sticklers to tradition like most Europeans will find difficulty adjusting, but it will definitely be good for them. They may even wonder why they went for that nicotine flavored romance foolishness in the first place. This is probably their interpretation of "loving each other till death" from cancer of course! LOL! --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Tapline, welcome back! I myself stopped smoking completely on New Years Day of 2007, I am celebrating my one year anniversary. I'll say life is different without smoking, you lose the capacity to do nothing gracefully by puffing a cigarette for one. LOL!

The reasons why I quit are itemized on this October post.

--Durano, done!

Kim said...

congratulations on your one year anniversary...Durano !!
I have cut down by half over the last 3 months and hoping to cut it out completely this year.....
thanks for your wonderful comments on my blog and a very Happy New Year to you ......
all the best