'Smoking jackets' for French cafe customers
A cafe owner in Rennes has found a friendly way of enforcing France's new smoking banRENNES, France, January 3, 2008 - A cafe owner in the western city of
Rennes has found a friendly way of enforcing France's new smoking ban: he is
lending customers fleece jackets to wear while they stand outside to smoke.
"To say to a customer 'go and smoke your cigarette outside' is a bit harsh.
Lending him a fleece to wear is friendlier," said Gilles Berard, owner of the
Chat Qui Peche cafe in central Rennes.
Cafes, restaurants and nightclubs across France became smoke-free as of
January 1 when a nationwide ban on smoking went into effect.
Berard has bought 30 sleeveless fleeces emblazoned with the name of his
cafe, using the smoking ban to wage some savvy marketing.
Some clients have complained however, saying the jackets should have
sleeves or hoods, said Berard.
Under France's anti-tobacco legislation, smokers who light up in cafes face
fines of between 68 euros (100 dollars) and 450 euros while business owners
can incur penalties of up to 750 euros for violations.