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Even though smoking bans led to increased pub and restaurant business in other countries, the argument seemed to fall on deaf ears in Germany and France, where any infringement of the right to smoke was sometimes viewed as an attack on freedom.
From January 1 smoking will be banned in pubs and restaurants in 11 of Germany's 16 states -- exemptions given only to those with separate closed-off rooms. Most other states will follow during the course of 2008.
In France, smoking in shops, offices and other public places has been banned since February 1, but a special exemption for bars and cafes has been in place until January 1.