Smokers and Smoking in France

Information on the laws affecting smoking in public places in France...

Like most European countries, France has a ban on smoking in public places. The primary objective of the ban is to limit non-smokers' exposure to passive smoking in public or communal places.

It is forbidden to smoke in the following places:

  • Offices/the workplace: In any office building, in both private offices and communal areas (reception and board rooms, canteens, washrooms, gym and sports areas)
  • Public transport: On any public transport (trains, trams, ferries, buses, ski lifts)
  • Schools: Anywhere on the property - indoors and outdoor grounds - of schools, and colleges
  • Leisure venues: At the sport and recreation facilities used by children under 18 years. Indoors and outdoors sport arenas, fields, gymnasia and halls used by schools, colleges or children's associations
  • Administrative buildings: The public access areas and individual offices, passageways and waiting rooms of all administrative buildings. Where a specific smoking area is not provided, smokers (staff and visitors) may only smoke outside
  • Medical facilities: In hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities (except in private hospital rooms where conditions apply)
  • Indoor public spaces: coffee bars and cafés, hotels, restaurants, discotheques and tobacconists

Smoking Areas

Organisations and employers may provide separate smokers' areas although certain criteria must be adhered to.

An acceptable smoking area has the following:

  • Must be properly ventilated
  • Must have automatic doors
  • May not be part of a passageway or foyer
  • Must not be larger than 32m²

Electronic Cigarettes

The use of electronic cigarettes is forbidden in:

  • Schools and facilities used by children under 18 years: Anywhere on the property - indoors and outdoor grounds - of schools, and colleges
  • Offices/the workplace
  • Public transport
  • In vehicles in the presence of children under 18 years

Further Information

  • Information line (Tabac Info Service)
    Tel: 0825 309 310
  • Comprehensive details (in French) on the risks of smoking from the Health Ministry
  • Information from the French Government website Service Public (in French)