France Surrenders in Smoking War

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I love to hate France. Sometimes, this makes me feel cheap and dirty. But there were a few things I still admired about the french: their food, their fries, their wines, their cheeses, Audrey Tautou and their continued insistence on sucking down cancer sticks and making it look really, really cool. But it seems French politicians have been studying Michael Bloomberg a little too closely:

French lawmakers are trying to make France's smoky cafes a thing of the past. A parliamentary panel called Tuesday for a government ban on smoking in enclosed public areas within a year — and floated the idea of "hermetically sealed" smoking rooms for those who want to light up.

According to the story, "Health Minister Xavier Bertrand has said smoking-related illness kills 66,000 people every year in France." (We assume all of them were in the Resistance during WWII.)

I especially liked this quote. "Smokers have rights, too," said Rhamzi Ayache, a 60-year-old computer technician. "They must find a way to coexist." Mr. Ayache, you still have rights. You have the right to stand out in the cold, shivering while you indulge your habit.
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