MORE than 80 per cent of tabacs in France are breaking strict rules on cigarette advertising.
The Comité national contre le tabagisme has called for all forms of tobacco advertising to be banned inside tabacs after it found the 80 per cent of them were already breaking the law restricting forms of advertising.
Tobacco advertising is banned in France except for inside tabacs, where it is subject to strict regulation.
Adverts must be informative, only on a poster measuring 60 by 80 cm and at least 25 per cent of the surface must be given over to a helpline to quit smoking.
The committee pointed out in a statement that adverts including flashing lights, cigarette packets in relief and other gimmicks were all illegal.
The study, which was partially funded by the Ministry of Health, used “mystery shoppers” to check out advertising in 400 of France's 28,000 tabacs.
It concluded much of the advertising was "particularly good at attracting the attention of the young, giving a 'cool' image of smoking" and "conceived to make people forget the dangerous effects of smoking".
The group said smoking was behind 60,000 deaths a year in France.
Cigarette prices are due to rise on November 8; from next April, images of diseased lungs are due to be printed on packets.