You are in the non-smoking section of a restaurant. Someone at the next table lights a cigarette.

Vous êtes dans la section non-fumeur d'un restaurant. Quelqu'un à la table d'à côté allume une cigarette.


ask the waiter to ask the person not to smoke.

ask the waiter/waitress to ask him/her to leave, smoke outside, etc.

Ask them to please respect the rules of the establishment due to health reasons.

I ask them politely to cease.

I wait until someone asks him to put down the cigarette.

I would ask the waiter to talk to them.

I would be mildly irritated, but not enough to warrant action.

I would call the waiter and tell them to ask the person to put it out or leave.

I would either ask to be moved to another table, or ask if the person could not smoke.

I would go locate a member of the waitstaff and discreetly inform them of the problem, taking care to avoid being noticed by the patron.

I would lean over and ask the person to stop

I would notify a waitress so that she could ask him to stop smoking

i would probably get irritated but i would ignore them

I would say, "excuse me, but I dont think smoking is allowed here. Sorry."

I would tell the server to take care of the situation.

i would wait for the waiters to notice.

I'd tell the waiter.

I'm sorry, but this is a non-smoking section, and I'll have breathing problems.

tell the waiter and let them handle the situation

You ask them if you could bum one.

ça ne me dérange pas

ça ne me regarde pas, c'est au personnel du restaurant de s'en charger

j'appelle le serveur.

J'en allume une aussi!

Je laisse faire le serveur.

je le regarde fixement et s'il ne comprend pas je demande au serveur de bien vouloir demander à cette personne d'éteindre sa cigarette

je le remets à l'ordre poliment

Je lui demande d'éteindre sa cigarette car je ne supporte pas la fumée et c'est un lieu public non- fumeur.

Je lui demande de ne pas fumer car l'endroit n'est pas fait pour fumer, chacun doit respecter les règles

Je lui demande poliment de l'éteindre car cela m'indispose.

Je lui dirais qu'il n'est pas dans la bonne section, et que la cigarette me gêne

Je lui fais remarquer le panneau.

je lui fais remarquer poliment que nous sommes dans la section non-fumeur

Je lui fais savoir qu'il est en zone non-fumeur pour qu'il puisse changer de place ou éteindre sa cigarette.

je lui précise que l'espace est non fumeur et lui demande de se déplacer ou éteindre sa cigarette.

je lui rappelle que c'est un espace non-fumeur

je lui signale poliment qu'il n'a pas le droit

Je ne dis rien

je ne fais rien


It was interesting to see how a lot of you guys said that you(yourself) will ask the person to stop smoking, whereas most of our responses involved asking the server. I thought that the Americans are the very "direct" people who won't have a problem asking the person themselves, but the responses proved me wrong. Do you think that it was just this particular situation, or are you guys generally very direct with others when it comes to such issues like somebody not respecting the law or not doing the right thing?

That's a good point you bring up, Yuliya. i looked back at the "cut in line" situation, and people were much more inclined to say something about it in that situation, which i thought was interesting because in this case, it's an actual written rule not to smoke, but in the other case, it's only a societal norm. Maybe because of this people feel the waiter should enforce the rules of his restaurant instead of us, and in the case of the line we need to enforce the societal norms because it's our responsibility.

Going along with what Yiliya and Ryan wrote, I think part of the reason might be that the people who don't want to sit near smokers don't want the smokers to know that. Among my family members and family friends, I know that the smokers hate people who try to get them to quit, so I am relucant to make them stop, even though I do not like their habit. In this case, I am less assertive about revealing that I dislike the behavior than I would be with a person talking in the movie theater or person cutting in line.

Smoking is a lot more common in France (and in Europe in general). I gathered that some of the more apathetic attitudes expressed by the French were a result of this cultural difference. We're a lot more "sensitive" to cigarette smoke around here, whether that's due to health concerns or just a psychological phobia of some kind. Do you think Americans are overly sensitive to smoke? Too polite or unwilling to confront a patron whose smoking bothers them? Also, does smoking carry any social "weight" in France, good or bad?

I also think an interesting response that did not appear on the American side was pointing to the non smoking sign. Its an indirect subtle way of saying: you shouldnt' smoke, but it's also a direct way of interfering. It seems that the French generally interfere in situations in which they feel someone is not doing the right thing, but they are always subtle or polite. Or maybe that implies being polite at the beginning, and then getting more serious and rude if the situation they think is wrong persists. What do you think?

Nous avons tendance à dire que le propriétaire du restaurant doit faire le nécessaire pour imposer un réglement et que les clients le suivent. Or il est difficile d'appliquer des règles contre le fumeur si le patron est lui même un fumeur. Il doit alors montrer le bon exemple ou sinon ça part en cacahuète !

Nous avons tendance à dire que le propriétaire du restaurant doit faire le nécessaire pour imposer un réglement et que les clients le suivent. Or il est difficile d'appliquer des règles contre le fumeur si le patron est lui même un fumeur. Il doit alors montrer le bon exemple ou sinon ça part en cacahuète !

Personnellement, je déteste la cigarette et je ne me gêne pas pour le dire à mes amis, voir même à négocier pour qu’ils aillent fumer loin de moi…très loin…et ce même si ce n’est pas mes amis ! Il faut penser à ceux qui ne fument pas ! L’odeur du tabac froid, la fumée quand on mange…BEURK. Après on ne peut pas interdire aux gens de fumer…sauf si ils n’ont pas le droit comme dans le restaurant.
Le problème de la « culture de la cigarette » c’est que c’est un mode de rapprochement efficace…car si on est le seul à ne pas fumer…on est exclu forcément…
Ca commence au collège pour faire comme les autres, pour tester, pour faire ce qui est interdit…Après dans la vie courante, ça dépend de son encadrement (amis, collègues), ce n’est pas toujours facile d’être non fumeur quand on est le seul et pas non plus facile d’être un fumeur quand tout son entourage est anti-tabac ! Qu’en pensez vous ?

Floriane, I definitely agree with you that it is hard to be a non-smoker when everybody around you smokes, and also to be a smoker when nobody else smokes. I have definitely been the only non-smoker in many situations and it almost makes you think "why",... :) I believe that the environment we live in contributes very much to the habits we have.

I was wondering how smoking is viewed upon by French society. Is it frowned upon? Do people think it's cool? Does everyone smoke or is it more of a minority? Also, in the United States, there are laws for cigarette packets to display warnings for the negative health consequences of smoking. Are there such measures put in place in France?

Merci d’avoir répondu…et pour répondre à Yi Wang, non, je ne pense pas que fumer est cool mais disons que c’est entré dans les mœurs. Il y a aussi des indications sur les paquets de cigarettes qui informent des dangers de la cigarette, mais aussi des affiches dans les universités, des spots publicitaires... Mais cela n’empêche pas vraiment les gens de fumer. Je dirais que le seul facteur qui joue vraiment, c’est le prix du paquet de cigarette…ça décourage apparemment ! Pour plus de précisions, j’ai trouvé des chiffres. Parmi les adultes âgés de 18 à 75 ans, 38 % des hommes et 30 % des femmes sont fumeurs réguliers ou occasionnels. La grande majorité sont des fumeurs réguliers (au moins une cigarette par jour), soit 33 % des hommes et 26 % des femmes. Ce pourcentage est particulièrement élevé pour les moins de 35 ans et décroît ensuite régulièrement avec l’âge. Comment est perçue la cigarette chez vous ? Est-ce mal vue de fumer ? Quel est le prix d’un paquet de cigarette ? Quel est le pourcentage de fumeur aux USA ? Je vous propose de poursuivre le sujet (ou tout autre) sur le « coffee break ». J’attends vos réponses et vos questions !

Thank you for the specific information you provided for us. And to answer some of your questions I will start with telling you how people view smoking here(from my own observations). I think that the subject starts to interest people when they are in junior high school or high school. I think that people start to smoke because it is forbidden(before the age of 18) and also because they want to look/feel older. Thus, little groups of people form and they start to hang out before and after school(sometimes between classes) to smoke a few cigarettes. Everyone else around them also wants to be cool so they start doing it too. I think that pressure from one's peers is the greatest influence on a young teenager. When people get to college, howver, things are quite different. At least in my case, I have never felt pressured to smoke in college, whereas there are definitely cases when I was younger when people have tried to make me smoke. I believe that in college, we are a bit older and make decisions for ourselves and not for our friends. Now the people around me smoke because they want to, not because everybody else does it. And finally, I think in general smoking is viewed as a bad habbit but a lot of people still do it.

I don't smoke, but it's common to see a 20 pc pack of cigarettes cost between 5 to 10 US dollars.