Throwaway cigarette ‘puffs’ to be banned in France
It comes amidst a wave of new measures set to fight against smoking in the country
France is set to implement a ban on throwaway e-cigarette puffs as part of a new plan to reduce the use of tobacco.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Sunday (September 3) that the ban on the throwaway vapes, which are popular among young people, will form part of a national programme of measures against smoking to be announced soon.
France will join a wave of European countries fighting against the ‘puffs’, with Ireland, Germany and Belgium having already brought in bans.
Ms Borne said that the vapes “give bad habits to young people”.
“We can say that it’s not nicotine, but it gives young people a reflex and a gesture that they get used to. This is how they then move towards smoking and we must stop that”, she said during an interview on the French radio station RTL.
The announcement comes after it was suggested last week that the price of cigarettes may increase as part of the measures.
Reports suggested that a box of cigarettes could rise to €12, and eventually cost €13 by 2027.
However, this has now been ruled out by the prime minister, who said that since the government had already increased the taxation on tobacco this year, it would not increase it again next year.
On May 1, 2023, tobacco prices rose by between 20 and 90 cents depending on the brand of cigarettes. This means that some packets now cost €11.
The moves to introduce new measures to reduce tobacco consumption come as France records around 75,000 deaths per year as a result of smoking, which is said to put huge pressure on the health services.
With their fruity and appealing flavours such as marshmallow, watermelon and chocolate, the throwaway vapes target teenagers.
The vapes are also modest in price, costing between €8-12 per vape, which consists of 300-500 puffs.
As well as to improve health, the ban is also seen as a move to protect the environment: the vapes are made from plastic and contain a lithium battery that is non recyclable.
Vapes can have a nicotine concentration of up to 20mg/ml, which poses a danger to young people whose cerebral capacity has not yet fully matured.
Although in theory the sale of these vapes is banned for minors, in reality young people have no problems gaining access to them.
A study carried out in 2022 found that 64% of tobacconists in France accepted selling vapes to minors.
The rest of the measures in the fight against smoking in France are set to be announced soon.