France has become the latest country to announce the introduction of an Irish-style ban on smoking in public places.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said today that the measure would come into force in all offices, schools and public buildings next February.
However, restaurants, nightclubs and bars are being allowed to delay the introduction of the ban until 2008.
Ireland was the first EU countries to impose a ban on smoking in public places when it introduced the restriction two-and-a-half years ago.
Similar bans have since been imposed in Norway, Italy, Spain and Scotland, while England, Wales and Northern Ireland are also due to come on board next year.