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Check Out Paris' 10,000 New Public Ashtrays. But Will French Smokers Even Bother?



PARIS – Is it the end for one of France’s most famous stereotypes: the nonchalant Parisian puffing on his cigarette, taking a final drag and tossing it away?

The French capital has declared war on the billions of cigarette butts littering its streets  – an estimated 315 tons annually, according to eco-friendly Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë and his team. The city has begun installing 10,000 public trash bins with ashtrays. Have a look - très chic, eh?

Since the city forbid them to light up in restaurants, cafés, hotels and indoor public spaces, smokers have had no recourse but to take it out on Parisian sidewalks. 

Meanwhile, the mayor of Paris has also said he was intent on enforcing a 68 euro fine (compared to 35 euros now) for whoever gets caught dropping their cigarettes in the streets.

Le Monde reports that millions of filters end up blocking sewers and polluting Paris’ water supply with toxic substances such as nicotine, phenol and heavy metals.

According to the French newspaper, Parisian outdoor space is relatively free compared to other big cities: In New York, beaches, parks and playgrounds are smoke-free; in Singapore, the authorities have banned chewing gum and in Rome, it is forbidden to eat a sandwich in the streets of the historic center of the city.


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