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Nice Uncovered: Walks Through the Secret Heart of a Historic City


No-smoking sign outside Cannes beach

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Like the rest of France, the Cote d'Azur has strict anti-smoking policies that are, by and large, taken seriously. Gone are the fume-filled days when every meal was perfumed by the tobacco of neighboring smokers. Thanks to relentless anti-smoking public service announcements, French people have kicked the habit en masse. The price of a pack of cigarettes (€5.50) is also a dissuasive factor. Those that do still indulge, do so outdoors. It is considered impolite to light up in someone's house without at least asking first. Often, you will be directed to a hallway, balcony or terrace.

For the most part, you are free to smoke outdoors with the exception of certain designated non-smoking beaches such as Centenaire beach in Nice and Bijou in Cannes. Public transport such as buses, trains and boats is non-smoking as well as bus stations, train stations and airports. There are no longer "smoking cars" on trains.

Restaurants, bars and cafes are non-smoking indoors but smoking is usually allowed on any outdoor area such as a terrace.

Hotels usually set aside a few rooms for smokers. If you don't specify, you will be placed in a non-smoking room. All public areas are non-smoking.

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