You are sitting at a table, in the non-smoking section of your favorite bar/café/restaurant, and someone sitting at the next table lights up a cigarette

Vous êtes assis à une table dans la section non-fumeur de votre café/restaurant préféré et quelqu'un à la table à côté allume une cigarette.

deal with it
doesn't bother me....maybe he/she has another?
I gently ask the person to stop smoking or change table
I hope they put that cigarette out cause I don't need second hand smoke.
i smoke so i wouldn't care
I will inform that person that he/she should not be smoking.
I would ask her to give me a cigarette and also to come outside with me.

I would ask the waiter/waitress to please address the issue.
I would ask them not to smoke.
I would ask them to put out their cigarette.
I would be annoyed, but mostly ignore the gesture
I would be irritated, and possibly ask him or her to stop smoking.
i would be very curious
I would call over the waiter and call it to his/her attention.
i would say "do you mind not smoking, i'm allergic."
I would tell the waiter/waitress.
I would want to go to a different table.
It wouldn't bother me.
politely ask them to either stub it out or move the smoking section
rejoice and light up as well.
wouldnt care, but if I was with someone who cared I would ask them to stop

"Les gens n'ont aucun respect", "Il
ne sait pas lire !"
Auriez vous l'obligeance d' arrêter de fumer?Merci
ca ne me dérange pas plus que ca , je n'y prête pas attention
cela ne me derange pas
je change de place
je fais emblant de tousser et de vomir puis je lui dis de l' éteindre
je le fusilles du regard et si ca ne suffit pas, je l'incendies
je lui demande poliment de l'éteindre
Je lui demande très poliment de l'éteindre de suite "Monsieur
s'il vous plaît voudriez-vous aller mourir de votre cancer un peu
plus loin de ma table ? Merci bien!"
je lui dis de se déplacer gentiment
je lui dit que je deviens complètement fou quand quelqu'un fume a
côté de moi et lui demande gentiment d'éteindre sa cigarette
Je lui en demande une et je vais la fumer dans la section fumeurs
je lui fais remarquer que cette zone est reservé pour les non fumeurs
je lui fait remarquer qu'il se trouve dans une zone non-fumeur et lui demande
de cesser de fumer
je lui montre le coin fumeur
je lui signale que c'est un espace non fumeur.
je lui signale que c'est un espace non fumeur.
Je lui signale simplement, l'existence de puissants détecteurs de
Je m'arrange pour esquiver la fumée ou je lui fait remarquer le panneau
Je ne dis rien.
je pense "il ya des endroits pour fumer!"
Si je suis le seul dans la salle, je ne dis rien cela ne me dérange
pas mais si je vois dans la salle des enfants ou une femme enceinte je permets
de demander poliment cette personne d'éteindre sa cigarette sans
faire mention qu'il se trouve dans une zone non-fumeur.


It was very interesting to me that 3 of the American
responses to this situation included applealing to a
waiter to ask the person to stop smoking, while none of
the French did so. Similarly, in the situation with a
student cheating on a test, some of the Americans also
wrote that they would tell the professor, while the
French did not mention that at all. Obviously the
Americans are appealing to a higher authority in these
situations, while the French are relying on themselves
to solve the problem. How can this be reconciled with
our theory that figures of authority are more present
for the French than for the Americans? Perhaps in their
ideals, the Americans diminuate the importance of
authority, while in practice, in real situations, they
actually quite depend on it? The law is that one may
not smoke in a non-smoking area, and that one may not
cheat on a test, so when some Americans are confronted
with these law-breakers, they call in the "policemen,"
who are in this case the waiter and the professor, to
restore law and order. What do others think of this?

How common is it to have a non-smoking section in a
restarant in France? Is it the law for all restaurants?
Furthermore, are the smoking sections generally larger
or smaller than the non-smoking sections? It seems to
me that in the U.S. the smoking sections are getting
smaller and smaller and often they are limited to a bar

My perception is that smoking is much more acceptable in
France, however, many of your responses showed an
outcry against the smoker. I am wondering whether the
disgust in the smoker in the situation is mainly
because he is breaking the rules or if it is simply a
negative response to his act of smoking.

In response to Natalie's question, I think it is
important to look back at the American responses to
words like Authority and Police--the majority of which
are negative. Two of the three Americans who said they
would alert the teacher also noted it would be
anonymously. Also, there were just as many, if not
more, students who responded that they would be
annoyed/irritated, but wouldn't do anything. This
suggests to me an unwillingness on the American
individual's part to be associated with an authoritative
position. It's like the saying "your rights end where
another's begin." I think Americans are likely to take
authoratative action only when another's actions
directly affect them. Take for example the case of
Kitty Genovese, whose murder was witnessed by 38 of her took at least half an hour until only 1
of them called the police.

We've talked a little bit in class about the French
government's efforts to curb smoking (new laws banning
ash trays at bars, etc). Do you think these laws are
having any effect on people's perceptions of smoking?
Have you noticed any recent changes in the smoking
habits of young people? I was a little surprised by
some of the anti-smoking attitudes in the responses to
this situation. Is this a sign of changing views of

Yes, I was also very surprised by the replies to the
smoking question. I was under the impression that
France, and Europe in general, has more smokers, that
smoking there is more accepted, and that smoking in
public places is more common. In fact, unlike in the
US, there seem to be non-smoking, rather than smoking,
sections in restaurants and other places like that.
When the French students come back from their vacation,
can you please address this question?

Darin, I think the example of Kitty Genovese, which I
also studied in psychology, is more en example of the
behavior of people in general, not just Americans. But
I do see your point that Americans may call on authority
only when it directly affects them. So, when someone
lights up a cigarette or cheats on a test, some
Americans would feel personally and approach a figure of
authority. However, the question still remains why is
there this disparity between the French and American
responses. Especially since the French seemed to be
more respectful of authority, why are they reluctant to
approach it in this situation?


Je pense surtout qu'en France, une grande partie des
gens pensent que les règlementations de toutes sortes
sont un abus de pouvoir de la part de l'état et donc que
le bon citoyen ne doit pas les respecter. Dès lors, on
évite de se

il me semble plus poli, pour ce genre de conflit
d'intervenir personnelement. Cette solution est plus
agréable, car le fumeur en faute est souvent conciliant
et preferera la remarque du client plaignant plutot que
celle du serveur ou d'un représentant de la

Aujourd'hui malgrè la loi une large part des
restaurants n'ont pas de zones fumeurs distinctes. Mais
je pense que cela est dû au fait que la politique mener
n'a pas de mesures de rétorsions efficaces.En effet
comme l'a dit jonathan les Français ont un problèmes
avec la loi et l'autorité en général, c'est pour cela
que pour qu'une loi soit respecter il faut que l'Etat
ait su jouer intelligement de la carotte et du
bâton...Ce qui n'est pas le cas ici.


I was looking at the answers on this situation from
previous years and I have noticed that the words
gentiment and poliment were definitely used two or three
years ago way more than they were used by all of you. I
have imagined that it might be because the idea of
harmful passive smoking is accepted more now in France
and people are less inclined to tolerate it especially
if it happens in a place where it is forbidden to smoke.
Do you feel this is true? I feel that authority does
not really play a big role in this situation as I have
found that laws that prohibited smoking in public places
were passed in 1997.


I was looking through the forums from the past years and
something really interesting struck me. French people
were saying that they were surprised by the fact that
their classmates would ask the smoker to stop smoking.
They said that such a request would make them look like
fools and that the smokers would actually not stop. Is
this still true? Has this changed or can it still


Francois, i am a bit confused. I see that you said that
many in France have problems with the law, but in the
responses to "un bon citoyen" many of your fellow
students put "respecte la loi." Is there a line between
the laws that people think they should respect and the
ones that represent interference in privacy by the

What do you feel about the role the state plays in the
private lives of people?

This is just a general question, not specifically tied
to the responses posted...

It has been my experience that the generalization that
Europeans smoke more than Americans is farily accurate.
Any thoughts on why this might be? Anti-smoking laws
were only recently established in the US, and this
generalizaton has existed for a while so there must be
other factors. Also, it would be my guess that French
teens (kids?) start smoking much earlier than do
Americans. To the French students, do you agree with
this? And if so, is this something that is hid from
parents, or is smoking pretty accepted, like drinking?
Several of my friends who smoke say their parents still
don't know and that they wouldn't want them to find
out--they're 20 years old! Is this at all similar to
your experiences?

Il est clair que de nombreux Français ont une
interpretation tres libre de la loi.En effet ils s'en
arrangent comme ils peuvent et,ne s'attardent pas sur
les points qui leur semblent aller à l'encontre de leur
mode de vie ou de leur liberté d'action...dans la mesure
où celles-ci ne sont pas préjudiciables pour

ta confusion provient surement de ton refus de croire
qu'en france nous sommes tous de mauvais
pourtant :)

Personne n'ayant encore repondu, je vais le faire... Il
est vrai que le fait de fumer est beaucoup plus accepté
en France qu'aux US...

Néanmoins, on peut noter que les choses changent, en
faveur des non fumeurs, avec la multiplication des
endroits non fumeurs... De toute facon, les Francais
respectent rarement les interdiction de fumer dans les
lieux publics !