In the anteroom of the health spa at Club Valtur Village in Agadir, Morocco, there is a prominent sign bearing a seemingly simple message, in three languages: First, "Si prega, di nonno fumare, grazie." Then, "Bitte, rauchen Sie nicht, danke." And finally, "Please, no smoking, thank you." Now, Americans will find this hilarious, a No Smoking sign in a health spa. But here, according to spa staff, it is not unusual for an Italian, German or French man or woman to fire up a smoke before flopping, naked and vulnerable, onto the treatment table. In the age of the global village, this must be one of the last cultural anomalies to be extinguished, the radically different public stances toward smoking assumed by ordinary Europeans and ordinary Americans. Then again, if they're about to "peel" your face or some other part of you, what harm will one last cigarette do?
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