Under the French ban, those caught lighting up indoors face a $93 fine, while owners who turn a blind eye to smoking in their establishments face a $198 fine.

 

Last year the country reinforced a long-standing smoking ban in workplaces, schools, airports, hospitals and other "closed and covered" public places such as train stations.

 

'Stupid law'

 

Kicking the habit


Ireland banned smoking in all enclosed spaces in 2004.

The UK followed with a ban.

Italy, Malta, Sweden, Estonia and Finland all have bans but allow smoking in special closed sections.

Belgium, Lithuania, Spain, Cyprus, Slovenia and the Netherlands all have bans but make exceptions for certain parts of the hospitality sector.

Germany, Portugal and France are the latest countries to introduce bans.

Some in France, where about a quarter of its 60 million people smoke, saw the latest move as an infringement on their individual rights.

 

Jean-Pierre Aiglement, 55, a waiter at the Cafe Au Depart in northern Paris, vowed not to be "chased out on to the pavement" by the "stupid law" saying he will "smoke where I please".

 

"Once they start enforcing the ban, this place will be empty,'' Aiglement said.

 

Al Jazeera's Tessa Parry Wingfield said reaction was mixed following the new law.

 

In France, Julie Mauger, a waitress, welcomed the move, saying it would be better for employees to work in a smoke-free environment.

 

While non-smokers breathed a sigh of relief, the move did not go down well with many owners of restaurants and bars.

 

"If I can't smoke while having some wine, then I do not go there at all"

Manfred Guarini, restaurant owner in
Germany

Manfred Guarini, who owns a restaurant in Germany, predicted slower business as a result of the smoking ban.

 

"I'm a smoker myself and if I want to go out somewhere to have a meal in the evening and if I can't smoke while having some wine, then I do not go there at all," he told Al Jazeera.

 

"Some places which are big enough like this one here have the possibility of having separate rooms, but most can't."

 

Following the ban in the German states, a group representing restaurant and bar owners sought to legally challenge the new anti-smoking law.

 

A ban on smoking in German trains, other public transport and federal buildings took effect in September.