Alcohol, tobacco & drugs

Update : May 2017

Smoking in France

  • In a vehicle with a minor? Smoking ban!
    Since 2016, you are not allowed to smoke in your vehicle in the company of anyone under 18 years old.
  • The plain tobacco pack
    Since the 20th of May 2016 all tobacco manufacturers will have to produce neutral packaging only. Staring January 1st 2017, you will be only able to buy such neutral tobacco packs in France. That means that the corporate look for each brand will disappear: no more logo, always the same and standard typography. Besides, the shocking pictures and prevention messages are still there. It will be the same treatment for cartons of cigarettes and rolling tobacco. Similar laws are also foreseen to come into force in the UK, Ireland and Norway.

Legal blood alcohol limit

It is forbidden to drive or travel (even on foot) in a state of drunkenness on public roads. The legal blood alcohol limit in France is 0.5 grams/litre. More information about driving and traffic violations in France.

Rules in restaurants

Since the law ("loi Evin") was passed on 10 January 1991, smoking is forbidden in public places in France (museums, monuments, cinemas) and on public transport. Note: trains, train stations and even the platforms are totally non-smoking areas. Restaurants are divided into smoking and non-smoking areas. It is forbidden to take alcoholic drinks into any establishment for physical and sports activities, schools, cinemas, etc. The use or importation of narcotics is strictly forbidden in France, including "soft" drugs (e.g. cannabis).

E-cigarettes use in public places

From October 1st, 2017, vaping will be officially banned in schools, public transport and workplaces which are collectively used, such as open-space offices. A visible sign should be installed in these places to inform people of the ban. Using an e-cigarette will however be allowed in other public open spaces: bars, restaurants, hotels, hospitals… although each establishment is free to impose its own restrictions.