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France Stubs Out Smoking

The French cafe society culture of long conversations over wine and coffee while relaxing in the ever-present haze of cigarette smoke is about to be transformed.

The smoky cafe will be only a memory when France bans smoking in bars, discotheques, restaurants, casinos and cafes on January 1.

Cafe and restaurant owners are concerned there will be little conversation with less wine, coffee and food purchased when customers are not allowed to smoke.

In November, thousands of cafe and restaurant owners marched in Paris to protest the upcoming ban, but the French government is moving ahead with implementing the new law.

Smoking restrictions began earlier this year in workplaces, schools, airports, hospitals and other public sites.

Officials say France has at least 65,000 smoke-related deaths each year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Bloomberg.