PARIS – Smokers across France braved chilly weather to light up on the footpaths, and restaurant and cafe owners predicted hard financial times as a smoking ban took effect yesterday. Eight states in neighbouring Germany also launched restrictions on smoking in bars and restaurants, though the measures were generally more flexible than in France, where smoking in cafes, bars, restaurants and night clubs is now prohibited.
Though French officials gave smokers a New Year’s Day reprieve, saying they would only start enforcing the ban from yesterday, many Paris cafes and restaurants had already gone smoke- free. Newly hung no- smoking signs dotted the entrance and walls of the Cafe Elysees, off Paris’s celebrated avenue.
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