Feature

What we lose when we ban smoking

The week's news at a glance.

France

Laurent Greilsamer
Le Monde

France is becoming irritatingly smoke-free, said Laurent Greilsamer in Paris’ Le Monde. French air was once “deliciously warm and heavy, air that permeated us, enveloped us.” We could trace our movements through the faint cloud of smoke that made up the environment, both indoors and out. The comforting scent of cigarettes “clung to our clothes, burnished our walls, spiced our breath.” Now it is gone. Incremental restrictions on smoking, passed bit by bit over the last two decades, have had an insidious effect. “We became hypersensitive to the least odor. Nearly hysterical. The less smoke we could smell, the less we could stand.” These days, even those of us who still claim to be smokers refuse to inhale the smoke of others. So when Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin declares, as he did last week, that France is ready for a complete ban on smoking in public places, he is merely acknowledging the status quo. In a decade, “a smoker will be as rare in France as a lover of horsemeat is today.”

Recommended

U.S. reopens embassy in Kyiv
U.S. embassy in Kyiv.
back again

U.S. reopens embassy in Kyiv

U.S. watchdog unveils report on collapse of Afghan troops
Afghan solider.
more bad news

U.S. watchdog unveils report on collapse of Afghan troops

U.S., global banks share plan to moderate food crisis
Janet Yellen.
on the table

U.S., global banks share plan to moderate food crisis

Should the U.S. send troops to Somalia?
President Biden.
Picture of Catherine GarciaCatherine Garcia

Should the U.S. send troops to Somalia?

Most Popular

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping
Failed Russian river crossing
Losing faith

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping

Why 'the Russian army just isn't very good'
Vladimir Putin.
Briefing

Why 'the Russian army just isn't very good'

Letter from a demoralized Pennsylvania voter
PA candidates.
Opinion

Letter from a demoralized Pennsylvania voter