Hospitals, chemists, emergency numbers: health-related information.

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> Emergencies

> Smocking/No smocking

> Alcohol and drugs

> Sexual tourism


Health information

No vaccinations are required in order to visit France. As regards your pets, you must provide their health certificates and ensure that they have been vaccinated against rabies. Also check with the embassy or consular services that their particular breed is permitted on French territory.


Should you be a witness or the victim of an accident, you may require medical treatment that cannot wait until the following day. These are the emergency services to contact:

Fire brigade18
SAMU (accidents)15
Drug Info Service0 800 23 13 13
AIDS/HIV Info Service0 800 840 800
Poison treatment diseases01 40 05 48 48
Sexualy-transmitted diseases01 40 78 26 00
SOS médecins (doctors) 01 47 07 77 77
SOS dentaire (dentists)01 43 37 51 00
SOS burns (hôpital Cochin)01 58 41 41 41

 Hospitals in Paris


© Thinkstock

Decree n°2006-1386 dated 15 November 2006 has determined the implementation conditions of smoking prohibition in collective venues.
First, smoking was banned in all enclosed and covered public places, workplaces, health centers, schools and/or institutions designed to receive, educate or host the underage, as well as in all public transport.
Since January 1st 2008, this ban has been extended to so-called “gathering venues” : hotels, restaurants, bars, tobacco shops, casinos and nightclubs.
However, smoking is allowed on café, restaurant and pub terraces, as long as they are not covered, or enclosed.
Opening smoking areas is allowed, yet not compulsory, and these areas are subjected to certain conditions issuing from the effective regulation. Nevertheless, customers will be entitled to no service within these areas.
More information on smoking prohibition in collective venues

Where can you buy cigarettes?

In tobacconists (“bureaux de tabac”) which are recognizable by their red diamond-shaped signs. The average price of a packet of cigarettes is €6. In other places (restaurants, bars, clubs), a packet will cost you a bit more.

Alcohol and drugs

© Thinkstock

Alcoholic drinks are on sale in any grocer’s, wine shops or supermarkets. While we must not forget that alcohol over-indulgence is simply bad for our health, being drunk and disorderly on the public highway is against the law (in reality, as long as you don’t disturb anyone and that you are on your feet, it may be tolerated). At the wheel, the maximum permitted alcohol level is 0.5 g of alcohol per litre of blood, which is approximately the equivalent of 3 halves of beer, 2 glasses of wine or 3 glasses of champagne. But it goes without saying: don’t drink and drive.

Any establishment selling alcohol is not authorized to serve children under 16 years of age. Drinks less than 15 degrees in strength (wine, beer) can be served to under-18s, but not spirits and liqueurs (whisky, vodka, etc.)

Restaurants that do not have the appropriate licence cannot serve alcoholic drinks except to accompany a meal.

The use, possession or sale of drugs are against the law in France. For assistance, information, or advice, you can call a free and anonymous service “Drogues Alcool Tabac” on 113, from any phone box, mobile or land line (in French only).

Sexual tourism

The joint declaration by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) on the protection of children from sexual exploitation in the tourism sector, presented in Yokohama (Japan) on 17/12/01, states that “our institutions rely principally on the WTO’s code of ethics for the tourism industry” (adopted in Santiago, Chile, in 1999), which clearly states that “the exploitation of human beings in any form, in particular sexual, especially when applied to children, conflicts with the fundamental aims of tourism and is the negation of tourism”.

Prostitution involving minors is strictly prohibited on French soil. Anyone resorting to prostitution involving minors, whatever their age, will risk penalties up to 100,000 euros in fines and 7 years in prison. Both adults and minors can be charged with this offence. What prostitution really means above all is the existence of the traffic of human beings, organised by procurers, for the purposes of sexual exploitation; international networks of organized crime that make victims of exploited men, women and children, whose everyday reality is alarming and appalling.

As stipulated in the preamble of the UN Convention of 2 December 1949 for “the suppression of the traffic in persons and of the exploitation of others for purposes of prostitution”, this traffic is “incompatible with the dignity and worth of a human being.”

 World Tourism


Enseigne pharmacie © OTCP - DR

They are usually open straight through from 8am to 8pm. They take it in turns to close on Sundays and also sometimes on Mondays. When a chemist is closed, the addresses of the nearest duty chemists are displayed on the door. A few chemists remain open late and even all night.