Paris smoking
Cigarette butts are pictured on a Paris pavement. France unveiled its first official smoking ban in outdoor public places with Paris enforcing a one-year trial ban in three playgrounds of the Parc de Montsouris.Getty Images

France has laid out its first official smoking ban in outdoor public places, with Paris enforcing a one-year trial ban in three playgrounds of the Parc de Montsouris.

The ban comes as the country tries to curb the mounting death toll from tobacco-related illnesses, claiming an estimated 73,000 deaths annually.

Deputy mayor Pénélope Komitès said Paris officials, "will determine whether the measure should be made permanent and extended to other Paris parks," after the one year trial period.

"For now, we're focusing more on persuading people than on punishing them," said Komitès.

The ban is already being defied by critics.

Jacques, 40, was seen violating the playground smoking ban saying, "it's excessive. There's no risk to kids' health out here in the open air."

He was forced to later stub his cigarette after two mothers reminded him of the ban.

One of the mothers, Catherine, 32, said: "Smoking has been banned in many public places in the United States and it's high time we did the same in France."

Komitès said initially violators will be given warnings and at a later stage fines will be introduced.

French health minister, Marisol Touraine, insists on the effectiveness of a gradual introduction of smoking bans in parks and areas where children are most exposed to smoke.

Touraine might ban smoking in other public places before the end of the trial period said Komitès.

Smoking indoors was banned entirely in France in 2008, and despite major tax increases weighing heavy on smokers, French teenagers continue on the practise.

Touraine has said that electronic cigarettes that are fast gaining popularity in France will also soon be banned in some public places.

All these measures will be finally implemented after a vote in the National Assembly early next year.

The outdoor smoking ban campaign by France is similar to proposals submitted to Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, by a health panel.

Yet Johnson has dismissed the propsals by the London Health Commission claiming that they're, "bossy and nannying."