With as many of eight in 10 residents of France saying that they are bothered by cigarette smoke, Minister for Health Marisol Touraine and her team are inviting eateries around the country to sign up to a commitment charter to provide offer a smoke-free outdoor space for dining customers in exchange for free online promotion of their establishment via the newly launched materrassesanstabac.com site.
There are two tiers for interested parties: the Sympa rating, which designates eating places that offer a separate smoke-free al fresco environment for diners (one in which they don’t have to pass through a smoking area first); and Top, which recognises a restaurant or other dining joint that has an open air terrace that is completely smoke-free.
The project is very much still in its early stages, but it has already begun to attract attention from establishments all over France. The online portal allows potential diners to log on and search for local, smoke-free places that they can visit as well as browse highly rated addresses and share their own opinions with a five star score. Owners, in turn, can upload images and information about their eatery.
The incentive is part of the National Tobacco Reduction Programme, which began in 2014 and continues until 2019. It aims to help former smokers and those who want to give up the habit, but also considers how the effects of second hand smoking can be reduced and eliminated for non-smokers.