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🚬 French Smoking Vocabulary & Expressions

Steve Oswald By Steve Oswald - updated on Jan 11, 2021
cigarette smoking french vocabulary

Tu veux te tirer une sèche ? Learn the French smoking vocabulary and about smoking in France. I’ll also explain three dumbfounding smoking expressions.

1 – Smoking in France

The French smoke a lot. It’s been changing a bit lately, but still, smoking in France is a real nuisance.

Smoking is allowed in the streets of France, and most of the time on the patio of French restaurants, bars… So, think twice about seating “en terrace” if you are a non-smoker. It’s the smokers’ territory and they do feel entitled to smoke there.

If someone smokes and it bothers you, you may try to say:
“excusezmoi: est-ce que vous auriez la gentillesse de ne pas fumer. Ça me dérange beaucoup / je suis allergique à la fumée”.
sorry, would you be kind enough as not to smoke. It bothers me a lot / I’m allergic to smoke.

Good luck to you though, since this is not customary in France…

And if you are a polite smoker, you may ask:
est-ce que ça vous dérange si je fume” – do you mind if I smoke?

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2 – French Smoking Terms

Here is a list of French smoking words with English translation.

  1. le tabac (c silent) – tobacco
  2. le tabagisme – fancy formal word to talk about smoking… In the news, you’ll find sentences like “les problèmes du tabagisme en France”…
  3. un fumeur / une fumeuse – a smoker
  4. une cigarette – cigarette
  5. une cigarette blonde – light tobacco cigarette
  6. avec ou sans filtre – with or without filter
  7. la nicotine – nicotine
  8. un patch – a patch
  9. une clope, une sèche, une cibiche – cigarette, familiar: ciggy, smoke
  10. une cigarette éléctronique – e-cigarette
  11. vapoter – to smoke an e-cigarette
  12. un vapoteur / une vapoteuse – person who smokes e-cigarettes
  13. un cigar – cigar
  14. un cigarillo – smaller kind of cigar
  15. un joint – joint
  16. rouler un joint – to roll a joint
  17. la marijuana, la marijane – marijuana
  18. un briquet – lighter
  19. une allumette – match
  20. un cendrier – ashtray
  21. un mégot – butt
  22. la cendre – ash
  23. la fumée – smoke
  24. fumer – to smoke (verb)
  25. se griller une clope – to smoke, familiar
  26. crapoter – to smoke without inhaling fully the smoke
  27. un paquet de cigarette – pack
  28. une taffe – a puff
  29. la zone fumeur / la zone non-fumeur – smoking/ non-smoking section
  30. un bar-tabac = where you can buy tobacco. It’s usually part of a bar and has a large sign that says “tabac”.

3 – French Smoking Expressions

  1. Casser Sa Pipe – Lit. to break one’s smoking pipe. Meaning to die.
  2. Fumer Comme un Pompier – Lit. to smoke like a fireman. Meaning to smoke a lot.
  3. Fumer La Moquette – Lit. to smoke the carpet. Meaning to smoke a joint.

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