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Do as the French Do: The Culture Around French Cigarettes

Do as the French Do: The Culture Around French Cigarettes

French cigarettes are culture icons and many still associate smoking with the country. Here's a look at the culture that still thrives in the modern age.

Smoking has become taboo in some parts of the world. There has been a huge push to reduce the number of smokers.

Despite that fact, the social stance on smoking in some countries has remained unchanged and France is one of these countries. French cigarettes are still very much a part of French culture, so much so that smoking indoors is considered perfectly acceptable.

But what is the history which informs modern French cultural perceptions of cigarettes? What aspects of France's culture still allows smoking to be viewed in a positive light?

Let's do a bit of digging.

France's History of Artistic Innovation

For centuries, France has been considered a hub of artistic innovation. From Delacroix to Monet, France has reared up too many amazing artists to count.

Its reputation as a country that both produces and values the arts is still intact. Even today, a tourist can book a trip to France and find him- or herself in the midst of some art revolution. Art exhibitions are still relatively popular; almost one million visitors showed up to see the work of Monet and Palais at the beginning of the decade.

Where, though, do smoking and French cigarettes fit in here? What does art have to do with enjoying a smoke?

As it turns out, France's association with art has historically led people to associate the country with indulgence. This indulgence embraces smoking as a part of an appealing aesthetic, and so smoking is considered a popular thing to do for Frenchmen, young or old.

This association with artistic innovation, though, goes beyond art galleries. Some of France's most celebrated philosophers and novelists were chain smokers as well, Camus and Sartre to name a couple.

Needless to say, these celebrated men impacted French society in meaningful ways before their deaths. Their theories and literary criticism often led the French to question the world around them, and their ideas were in sync with French values: revolution, freedom, etc..

It becomes easy, then, to understand how the arts (visual and literary) became so seemingly and inevitably linked to French cigarettes and smoking.

One of the Cool Kids

In France, smoking is still viewed as something that the "cool kids" do. Men, women, and teens can be caught enjoying a smoke every now and then.

So why is smoking so often associated with being "cool"?

There are a couple of possible explanations for this, the first of which is that close figures with some authority are somewhat likely to smoke. As we stated before, smoking is common for men, women, and even teens in France. Several people, French or not, take their social cues from the people who surround them.

Don't, however, misunderstand this gravitation towards smoking. We're not suggesting that the fascination with Frech cigarettes is fueled by peer pressure. Smoking has been a huge part of French culture for centuries, and many elements of culture are passed from generation to generation.

No peer pressure about it. Just a deep love of the culture and the people who pass tradition on.

Celebrities, too, have left their marks on the French. Serge Gainsbourg, a 20th- century French musician, for example, arguably could not be caught without a cigarette in his mouth.

Gainsbourg's music became legendary in France after he passed away. The legendary status of his work no doubt drives men, women, and children to imitate the great musician.

In other words, if Gainsbourg smokes, so shall they.

More contemporary celebrities also have some influence on the culture which surrounds cigarettes in France. Some of today's biggest stars with global followings can be seen smoking on occasion, be it onscreen or in their everyday lives.

Wining and Dining

A love of French cigarettes is definitely ingrained in the culture, but the French have a love of wine as well. In fact, Frenchmen see French wine as such an integral part of their culture that things get pretty ugly when they perceive that this culture is threatened

What, though, does wine have to do with cigarettes?

If any of you have ever enjoyed a smoke, maybe you have some idea of how well a glass of wine and a cigarette complement each other. The French have the same idea.

It's not uncommon for a French man or woman to smoke and drink after he or she has finished a meal. Indulging in both can really take the edge off at the end of a long day.

Of course, there are certain ways to enjoy a good French cigarette with some wine on the side.

The French might, for instance, enjoy some Camel cigarettes with deep red wines. These deep reds include wines like Malbec. The idea here is that the strong flavors of both the cigarettes and the wine will play well together.

Frenchmen who don't enjoy full-flavor cigarettes might instead choose to smoke American Spirit cigarettes over dinner. If they choose this brand, however, they might need to choose a wine which has a milder flavor. Younger red wines, or perhaps even white wines, would be preferred here.

But let's not get too sidetracked here. The overall point is that smoking and drinking are two things that Frenchmen like to experience together. And, quite frankly, we think they've got the right idea.

Purchasing French Cigarettes

Unfortunately for French smokers, the French government's recent restrictions might ultimately put many tobacco shops out of business. As a result, many Frenchmen might have a much harder time procuring cigarettes and e-cigarettes in the future.

That said, Eurobacco offers high-quality European tobacco. The hope is that offering several different brands in a single shop will help make finding specific tobacco products easier to find and purchase.

Our shop's brands include Camel, Fortuna, and Superkings. We also have a whole host of accessories that buyers can choose from. These include cases and pipes.

Those of you who want some more information about our online shop should contact us to have your questions answered. You may call us at + 44 020 3287 5739. You can also email us at and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.