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Jan 23, 2014 11:33 AM

Smoking is back in French Restaurants: I witnessed it today.

More and more, French smokers are converting to ecigs (there are two such shops on my street in the 18th) and looking you straight in the eye as they puff and blow vapor at you - inside - including today's lunch site.
They insist that it's all harmless fun - not so says the FDA

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  1. I don't think I've been in the presence of the e-cigs.

    Does it smell or make noise ?

    If it does not disturb people around them, then good enough for me...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Smoke or no smoke I'm not sure I like it when people blow their breath in my face.

      1. re: Maximilien

        E-cigs were all over last summer, so I am not surprised to hear that they are even more popular and/or tolerated 6 months later. While I can't remember seeing them in a restaurant per se, they were everywhere outside in close areas, i.e., crowded aisles at outdoor markets, flea markets and certainly at terrasse tables. It will probably take some time before there is any kind of public awareness of their 2nd hand threat and longer for legislative control.

        1. re: Maximilien

          <Does it smell or make noise?>

          No & No.

        2. How about asking head waiter to ask the e-smokers to ditch the e-smoke or leave and leave if he doesn't? Can't imagine a headwaiter tolerating spit; why should he/she tolerate e-smoke.

          1. Et alors ? I suspect that the FDA reflects to some extent the paranoia gene that seems, at least to us Euro-trash, peculiarly American. I'm with Max... if it's not intrusive, it's ok.

            33 Replies
            1. re: Parnassien

              It it's blowing poison into the air that I'm breathing, then It's intrusive.

              1. re: bcc

                That gene again!

                Fumes from frying, roasting, barbecuing, etc taint the air that swirls around in restaurants with "poisons" at much greater and longer-lasting density than the minute droplets from e-cigarettes. When you actually read the admittedly inconclusive and spotty science, it's amazing to find how insignicant the "risk" actually is.

                Without a sense of proportion, life is just one big, very dreary risk. And, sadly, often punctuated by victimitis and a sense of entitlement to ensure that others are indeed the enemy.

                1. re: Parnassien

                  Please note that the operative word in my objection is "IF". I did not claim that electronic cigarettes are noxious to others.
                  Your argument, however, is one that was used by the proponents of allowing smoking in public places. Are you arguing that smoking should be allowed in restaurants?

                  1. re: bcc

                    "Are you arguing that smoking should be allowed in restaurants?"
                    Of course not. Even though cigarette smoke doesn't bother me personally, I did applaud the banning of smoking at restaurants. The combination of enclosed space, the long lingering smoke, well-demonstrated science, and the real discomfort caused to others make it impossible to defend smoking in restaurants. But in the case of e-ciggies, it's mostly the very notion and imagined (or, at best, grossly exaggerated) risks that offends people. I have friends that puff such things and, even in a windows-up car, I barely notice it if at all... the worst is a sudden sense of brief humidity that lasts for, oh, 0.10 seconds.

                    1. re: Parnassien

                      I was at a Christmas party when several of us commented that someone was smoking clove cigarettes.

                      Pretty shortly, I had to step outside, because I was choking and gagging on the overpowering odor. Needed the rescue inhaler, the whole bit.

                      About 10 minutes later, a guy came walking through, waving his e-cig and bragging about how great the clove vapor was.

                      It still has a smell, and it still puts crap in the air that others may not want to breathe (or like in my case, have no choice and cannot breathe)

                      They belong outdoors with the people who at least have the courage to smoke real cigarettes instead of make-believe.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        I agree... the flavoured ones are obnoxious. But so far, considered bad taste and very uncommon in France. I would complain if the smell was intrusive. But the very fact that an e-ciggie can be used by a few inconsiderate folks to produce the stink of cloves or something else obnoxious is not sufficient to consign the entire device to offensive/ dangerous/ ban-it status.

                        1. re: Parnassien

                          I didn't say ban it -- I said send it outside where it belongs.

                          I sure as hell wouldn't want to be dropping a few hundred euros on a meal only to have it tainted by somebody's obnoxious fume producer.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            And I'm saying clove or other foul smelling e-ciggie options should be banned ... but, since there is no harm or disturbance (other than imagined) from normal e-ciggies, there is no need to exile the user to the outside if he's using the standard non-smelly e-ciggie.

                            1. re: Parnassien

                              but you know that's a slippery slope. There's not going to be a way to exile only the smelly ones -- I can see table of bohos now -- half have smelly ones, and half have neutral-smelling ones.

                              Can't you just imagine the chorus of angst and "Oh, mon dieu" when they get asked to move outside? The accompanying hand gestures and shrugs and "pfft"would be worth admission, though.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Hmmm, good point, Sunshine... but maybe not as difficult as you might imagine... the French mind is burdened with all sorts of subtleties, nuances and distinctions that make it difficult to see in black and white (with the exception of supporters of the Front National, of course) ... banning just the smelly e-cig varieties might be easily understood and accepted by most.

                                1. re: Parnassien

                                  but arriving at a consensus of what constitutes "smelly" would result in gestures and shrugs, ending in a slowdown and eventually a grève for something.

                          2. re: Parnassien

                            Speaking of intrusive odors in restaurants and theaters, there is in-your-face perfume or cologne, men's or women's.

                            1. re: mangeur

                              I absolutely agree -- I've had to leave establishments because of the cloud of funk drifting from the next table.

                              1. re: mangeur

                                Shaking myself from a jet-lagged can't-sleep stupour by the thought/ horror of delicious stinky cheeses being included as one of the intrusive odours by some... this is a very slippery slope, Mme Mangeur :)

                                1. re: Parnassien

                                  Hmm. I have never noticed an intrusive stench from cheese. Garlic, yes. Cheese, no. This IS a scary slope.

                                  cheese zte ch

                          3. re: Parnassien

                            That sense of brief humidity makes me cringe at least as much as cigarette smoke. It's disgusting.

                      2. re: bcc

                        No scientific proof......just opinion..........I'm with Parnassian...the rest just are paranoid and LOVE to punish smokers and other "deviates" in their minds....Gawd help them if anyone ever proves garlic causes cancer

                            1. re: bcc

                              Well, for instance I don't appreciate when car owners drive past me and force me to breathe in their poisonous fumes

                              (ok, I don't really care, but it's the same sort of thing)

                          1. re: bcc

                            I'm pretty sure walking down a city block will cause you to inhale far more toxins than a breath of the vapor from one of these.

                            1. re: jgg13

                              Your analogy fails on so many levels that further comment becomes superfluous.

                              1. re: bcc

                                Actually it doesn't, but keep thinking that.

                          2. re: Parnassien

                            I must admit to knee-jerking to the notion of e-smoke in a restaurant. Just did a search and find that little is truly known about the hazards. None-the-less I would very much appreciate it if advocates e-smoked in their very own space, not next to my dining table or anywhere else I chose to be.

                            1. re: hychka

                              If it's any form of gas or vapor that was in your body and has now exited your body please don't expect me to inhale it while I am eating. Thank you for your consideration.

                                1. re: bcc

                                  If your breath is foul enough that it's noticeable, then you need to stop breathing.

                            2. re: Parnassien

                              Writing from family experience, it's NOT paranoia............

                              My 16 year old daughter became addicted to eCigs. Never mind the fact that iot is illegal here in Connecticut to sell them to minors.

                              One of the chemicals used id the same chemical used to deoce airplanes in the winter. Turns out it can cause allergic reactions. She got hoives and rashes all over her trso. She also began to have very bad headacjes everyday. Her internist could not identify teh cause. She ended up at the neurologost who after complete testing and examining the lifestyle diary she was made to keep for a month found it was the eCigs. Seems there have been many eCig related maladies showing up. AND FWIW dauther thouight she was being safe by only using the nicotine free eCigs.

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                1. Why did YOU allow your daughter to use e-cigs in the first place, especially if they are illegal for her to use.

                                2,. If she had an allergic reaction, how did she use them long enough to become addicted?

                                3. Am I misunderstanding your post or are you REALLY blaming the e-cigs rather than your daughter who broke the law by using them in the first place??

                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                  apparently you have never had a teenaged daughter.

                                  I don't have one, but I used to be one.

                                  Dads are usually the last to find out about questionable behaviour.

                                  Allergies and addiction are not synonymous -- and allergies can appear at any time. One day you're not allergic, the next day you are. It's how allergies work. (and most folks of any age -- including her doctors -- wouldn't immediately connect the dots of e-cigs and a rash on the *torso* -- not a part of the body that would typically come into contact with either the e-cigs or their vapour)

                                  The law didn't cause her medical problems -- which would have happened regardless of her age.

                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                    It's not a matter of allowing......we never saw her use them, but the eCigs were even permitted in her school (where smoking is illegal)
                                    Her use was/is not illegal, the sale to a minor is illegal...this may seem odd, but laws are strange (and I'm an attorney). Here in Connecticut it is illegal for those under 16 to buy government lottery tickets, but the state advertisements all have the disclaimer: "Children under 16 may not buy lottery tickets, but may receive them as gifts."
                                    It look almost 90 days for the skin allergic reactions to manifest themselves (time for chemical buildup), plus she tried many different brands of the liquids and we don't know which is the culprit and when she first ingested it.

                                    READ the earlier parft of my response, her use was not illegal, the sale to her was illegal. And YES I am blaming gthe eCigs for the medical problems, as if she was 18 years old and not 16 years and 11 months the reaction would be the same.

                                  2. re: bagelman01

                                    <ended up at the neurologist who after complete testing and examine the lifestyle diary…>

                                    I'm curious…
                                    Did your daughter concede to the use of the eCigs before she went in for all the testing? I would have thought, being a mother myself, they could have ruled out rather quickly what the culprit was had they known what her 'lifestyle' was.

                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      Daughter had a snowboarding accident in December and hit her head. They were trying to bdecide if the headaches were from a concussion or something else. Daughter had admitted to eCig use in Niovcember when she had the allergic reactions and stopped using the eCigs then,. She handed over her supply and we trashed them.
                                      No ecigs from Nov 15 to the neurologost appointment on Jan 22, but still having afteraffects

                                2. The original comment has been removed
                                  1. Eastern Europe has long maintained two sections in their restaurants, smoking and chain-smoking.

                                    2 Replies