French Newspapers Fined Over Formula One Tobacco Photos

The French, always leading the charge in indignant posturing, are dumping napalm on the anti-tobacco bonfire then throwing a hand grenade on top. In France, it is already illegal to advertise tobacco in publications. Also illegal? Taking photographs of Formula One race car drivers who happen to have Marlboro patches on their race suits.

Three newspapers in France have been fined between $950 US and $1,180 US for publishing photos of Formula One drivers wearing overalls adorned with tobacco logos.

A court of minor offences in Paris also ruled Le Point, Le Monde and Les Echos must pay the court costs of the group Rights of Non-Smokers, who brought the forth the court action.

As usual amongst groups that form around the concept of not doing something, the right they are working so hard to protect is their own right to censor from the public any mention of whatever it is they have decided to pull their panties up over their head about in a tizzy. I’m not pro Big Tobacco, but personally, I’d rather have some pork-faced buffoon objectionably excrete a mouthful of Marlboro into my face at the pub from time to time than live in a society where incidentally taking a photograph of a tobacco logo when covering a popular sporting event nets you a fine and the court costs of a gaggle of shrill, indignant buttinskis.