E-cigarettes should not have flavourings in them, and there should be more regulation over their sale in France, a national anti-tobacco group has said.
Le Comité national contre le tabagisme (CNCT) published its report on February 13. It focuses on a three-year study from 2020-2022, carried out by the CNCT. It found a very rapid evolution of the market over that time, including the appearance of a wide range of new products.
It has called for:
- A ban on e-cigarettes (sometimes also called vapes) having non-tobacco flavours
- Anything containing nicotine to have a tobacco flavour only, if at all
- More regulation over the sale and advertisement of the products
- A thorough review of the regulation of new nicotine products
Marketing to young people
Tobacco-derived products are increasingly being marketed to attract young people, it said, citing examples of heated tobacco, disposable electronic cigarettes, and nicotine sachets.
The CNCT said that selling these products in a wide range of flavours heightens their “recreative dimension” (meaning that they appear more entertaining and fun) and minimises their “addictive and toxic nature”.
It said that this “plays a central role in the normalisation of nicotine”. It also found that manufacturers regularly offer promotions and discounts on the products, which also makes them more financially accessible to young people.
The committee added that existing French law is not generally respected when it comes to point-of-sale advertising for these new products.
Technically, the law only allows the advertising of vaping products in the form of informative posters, not visible from outside shops. And since 2016, the advertising of tobacco products has been banned, including at the point of sale.
However, the CNCT said that it had found a multitude of violations of the law, especially of the heated tobacco product under the brand Philip Morris. It said that seven out of 10 shops have some kind of advertising material related to it.
It also said that “violations” of the ban on vaping advertising at the point of sale are “massive”, and claimed that 95% of the shops it visited as part of the study had illegal advertisements for the products.
The CNCT also said that it “regrets” that manufacturers are using social media networks to promote their products, which are sold in a wide variety of flavours, in a further bid to entice young people.