Yves Bur, the UMP deputy for Alsace Lorraine, is planning to present a bill this autumn to the lower parliament, backed by 60 other lawmakers, calling for a total ban on smoking in public places - including bars and restaurants. The last time the French government interfered with smoking habits, in 2003, when the tax on cigarettes rose by 27 per cent, tobacconists went on strike and Nicholas Sarkozy, the interior minister, was assaulted. Smoking prevalence is higher (about 33%) than in UK (about 26%). "The balance of power has changed," Mr Bur told Libération, the French daily newspaper. "Seventy per cent of French people are in favour of such a ban. A lot of non-smokers no longer accept being intoxicated by smoke."