Feature

What we lose when we ban smoking

The week's news at a glance.

France

Laurent GreilsamerLe 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

Biden won't reconsider America's imperial reach
President Biden.
Picture of Joel MathisJoel Mathis

Biden won't reconsider America's imperial reach

No, we can't just 'vaccinate the world'
Earth.
Picture of David FarisDavid Faris

No, we can't just 'vaccinate the world'

10 things you need to know today: November 30, 2021
Joe Biden
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 30, 2021

Barbados drops Britain and its queen, becomes a republic
Barbados becomes a republic
President Rihanna?

Barbados drops Britain and its queen, becomes a republic

Most Popular

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation

Who pays America's taxes?
Taxes.
Briefing

Who pays America's taxes?

10 things you need to know today: November 29, 2021
Tokyo's Haneda airport
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 29, 2021