Many around the world may instinctively picture Parisians with a cigarette between their fingers, but new rules are making smokers less welcome in the French capital.

With effect from Friday, smoking will be banned in 52 parks and public gardens, amounting to about 10 per cent of the city’s green spaces, according to city authorities.

The city hall says the move will make Paris “an ever more welcoming and breathable capital.”

Offenders will be liable for a fine of 38 euros (about 42 dollars).

The ban will not apply in Paris‘ largest parks, which are popular with picnickers and merrymakers in the summer months.

According to European Union statistics, in 2014 France’s rate of daily smoking was slightly above the EU average, and well above most other Western European countries.

France’s public health authority, Sante Publique France, said earlier this week that the number of daily smokers had dropped by 1.6 million since 2016 and now stood at 25.4 per cent of the population.

However, the death rate due to smoking-related illnesses was still rising by 5 per cent annually among women due to the effects of a rise in female smoking from the 1970s to the 1990s, it said.