French lawmakers, it is reported, have voted to end a draconian antismoking rule that deprived iconic Gallic puffers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Coco Chanel of their cigarettes in posters or photos. According to the Telegraph:

Fear of breaking the so-called Evin law, which bans the “direct or indirect” promotion of tobacco products, had led authorities to remove smouldering Gauloises from pictures of a string of famous French figures in recent years.

The rule reached new heights of absurdity in 2009 when the trademark pipe of the late Jacques Tati, one of France’s most enduring comic characters, was replaced with a yellow windmill in a poster campaign – a move which one cinema expert said would have made him “die laughing”.

On Wednesday, French MPs approved a bill that excludes “cultural heritage” from the antismoking rules.

20-01-2011jacquestati

The pipe was replaced with a yellow windmill (inset)

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