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Drink ban for under-18s

Blanket ban on sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors and relaxation of internet advertising passed by National Assembly.

UNDER 18s will be banned from buying tobacco and alcohol after MPs voted through a new law.

Under current French law, 16-year-olds can buy alcoholic drinks like wine and beer (but not spirits) in both bars and supermarkets.

The new measure, which sets 18 as the blanket age for buying both cigarettes and alcohol, is part of Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot’s wide-ranging Hôpital, patients, santé et territoire bill.

The raising of the drinking age is meant to help combat binge drinking.

As for cigarettes, MPs said the current law was often poorly applied because it was hard for tobacconists to discern a person’s age. They believe a limit of 18 is easier to enforce.

Advertising alcohol on the internet, previously banned by the Loi Evin law which was drawn up before the web became popular, will be allowed with some exceptions, including advertising on sites aimed at young people and a ban on using pop-ups.

MPs voted not to ban the sale of alcohol at service stations but extended restrictions from a current period of 22.00 – 6.00 to 18.00 – 8.00. However the sale of chilled alcoholic drinks at locations that sell petrol is to be banned at all times.

All these measures must now be given the final approval by the Senate.


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