The National Assembly has voted in favour of banning ‘puffs’, meaning the fate of these disposable e-cigarettes is now in the hands of the Senate.
MPs voted unanimously on Monday (December 4) with 104 votes in favour of this bill led by Francesca Pasquini (EELV, left-centre) and Michel Lauzzana (Renaissance, centre).
The ban aims to protect the health of young people and mitigate the environmental impacts of the increasingly popular disposable products known as ‘puffs’.
Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau is also largely in favour of a ban. During the presentation of his 2023-2027 national tobacco control plan the minister said these single-use vapes are a gateway to smoking.
Over to the Senate
The parliamentary timetable has not yet been set out, but senators are expected to review the bill in the first half of 2024.
The objective of the two proposers of the bill is a ban to come into force before the start of the school year in September 2024.
This is in response to the heavy marketing of single-use vapes towards teenagers.
This bill is part of a broader trend. The UK, Ireland, and Germany are considering similar measures. New Zealand and Australia have already implemented restrictions, with the former imposing lower nicotine levels and restrictions on vape shop locations near schools.
Leading by example?
Despite Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne being in support of this new ban she is a known fan of e-cigarettes (albeit not the disposable kind).
Since being appointed in May 2022, the head of government has often been seen with an e-cigarette in her mouth whether in meetings, in Matignon or in Parliament.
However, just last week, the prime minister was accused of hypocrisy over e-cigarette use, when LFI-Nupes MP Caroline Fiat interrupted her speech at the National Assembly on 29 November, criticising Mrs Borne for vaping during a debate.
"Vaping in this chamber while I am talking to you is a total contempt," Ms Fiat said later writing about what had taken place on social media:
Obligée de m'interrompre dans mon discours pour demander à @Elisabeth_Borne d'arrêter de vapoter dans l'hémicycle !— Caroline FIAT (@CarolineFiat54) November 30, 2023
"Ici on écrit la loi, on n'est pas au dessus des lois"
Quel mépris ! pic.twitter.com/JWZ3PKkQez