France to ban electronic cigarettes from all public places and subject them to the same tight rules as tobacco

July 24, 2014 9:06 pm 6 comments Views: 2296
  • Follows five-year ban on regular tobacco cigarettes across France
  • French health agency declared the electronic cigarettes dangerous in 2011


France is set to ban electronic cigarettes from public places and subject them to he same tight controls as tobacco, the government has announced.

The move has sparked outrage among sellers and users of the battery-powered devices which contain liquid nicotine that is turned into a vapor when inhaled.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine confirmed reports that a ban would go ahead on France’s Europe 1 radio today.

The electronic cigarettes are currently legal to use, while 'normal' cigarettes have been banned for five years in France

The electronic cigarettes are currently legal to use, while ‘normal’ cigarettes have been banned for five years in France

She said: ‘The e-cigarette is not an ordinary product. We need to apply the same measures as there are for tobacco.

‘That means making sure it cannot be smoked in public places, that its sale is restricted to over 18s and that firms are not allowed to advertise the products.’

The plans come after recommendations to outlaw the devices were made in a specialist French report published earlier this week.

E-cigarettes are currently legal to use in bars and restaurants and all other public places, where traditional smoking has been banned for five years.

A ban would harm the booming e-cigarette industry in France, where around 500,000 people use the gadgets, vendors insist.

Darren Moon, the English owner of online store Vapshop.fr, said: ‘If they ban it in public or in the workplace, I’ll be closing my store, or moving it somewhere where there aren’t restrictions like that.

‘Twenty percent of our business is selling disposable e-cigarettes to restaurants, clubs, bars and hotels. So if there’s a workplace ban, I’d have to start firing people.’

A spokesman from the London-based market intelligence firm Euromonitor International said today: ‘The e-cigarette market is developing very rapidly in France.

‘The two main advantages of e-cigarettes is that they’re seen as healthier than traditional cigarettes, and you can use them in settings like bars and restaurants, where traditional cigarettes aren’t allowed.

‘A measure like a public ban would reduce the public perception of harmlessness and remove the practical benefit of smoking an e-cigarette in the first place. So it would be highly damaging to the industry.’

E-cigarettes were first invented in China in 2003, as many nations began imposing bans on smoking, and are aimed at giving the user a similar sensation to smoking a cigarette.

They were thought to be much healthier than normal smoking is because they do not contain the tobacco and other carcinogens found in cigarettes.

But many experts have since expressed concerns about certain chemicals contained in the liquid, notably the compound propylene glycol.

In May 2011, the French health agency AFSSAPS advised against using the devices, saying they still contained nicotine, which even at a low concentration could lead to ‘damaging side effects’.

In March this year, health expert Professor Bertrand Dauzenberg told Europe 1 radio tha e-cigarettes could have the opposite effect that is designed for.

He added: ‘These electronic cigarettes could also lead children to start smoking and sale should be banned to minors.

‘However for heavy smokers, I believe these will reduce the health risks, but the best way to quit smoking is the patch or chewing gum.’

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  • Geoff Cliff

    Merde des vaches! “Many experts have since expressed concerns about certain chemicals contained in the liquid, notably the compound propylene glycol.”
    What? the liquid used in asthma inhalers? Pharmaceutical grade PG is not a dangerous chemical!

    “In May 2011, the French health agency AFSSAPS advised against using the devices, saying they still contained nicotine, which even at a low concentration could lead to ‘damaging side effects’.” What? Like the damaging side effects of potatoes, tomatoes and peppers? God help French cuisine!

    The same old bullsh*t from the ANTZ’s rusty arsenal!

  • Dragonmum

    Could someone tell that woman that it cannot be “smoked” in Public Places or anywhere else – it produces no smoke!! How many more times??
    We all know it’s a total waste of time trying to talk sense to these politicians unless it’s through the wallet, but how embarrassingly obvious do they have to make it?

  • althea

    “Health Minister Marisol Touraine confirmed reports that a ban would go ahead on France’s Europe 1 radio today.”

    Today!!?? No, that’s wrong. Marisol Touraine didn’t speak today on France’s Europe 1 radio !!

  • barenaked_fi

    Double stsndards again. On the one hand slating ecigs for the nicotine they contain, then end the piece with a recommendation for NRT, which contains the very same ingredient (only with reduced efficacy)

  • Justfuckedup

    This just what my nickname claims it to be. Just horrible BS. Seems they just don’t want people to get rid of the smoking and why would they, good money for their pockets. Funny thing is they have tried for years to find ANYTHING dangerous from e-cigs with big budgets but have failed miserably.

  • Bill Godshall

    The growing mountain of scientific and empirical evidence consistently indicates that electronic cigarettes (e-cigs):
    – are 99% (+/-1%) less hazardous than cigarettes,
    – are consumed almost exclusively (i.e. >99%) by smokers and exsmokers who
    quit by switching to e-cigs,
    – have helped several million smokers quit and/or sharply reduce cigarette
    consumption,
    – have replaced about 2 Billion packs of cigarettes worldwide in the past five
    years,
    – are more effective than FDA approved nicotine gums, lozenges, patches and
    inhalers for smoking cessation and reducing cigarette consumption,
    – pose fewer risks than FDA approved Verenicline (Chantix),
    – pose no risks to nonusers,
    – have never been found to create nicotine dependence in any nonsmoker, and
    – have never been found to precede cigarette smoking in any daily smoker.

    Besides, all of the following products and activities emit far more indoor air pollution than does an e-cigarette, but the French Health Minister isn’t banning any of them.
    – plywood
    – glues
    – paint
    – carpeting
    – furniture
    – appliances
    – cooking
    – every exhale by every smoker for an hour after smoking every cigarette
    – smoker’s clothes and hair
    – printers
    – photocopiers
    – cleaning products
    – dry cleaned clothes
    – hair sprays
    – perfumes
    – nail polish and nail polish remover
    – air fresheners

    All real public health advocates support smokers switching to far less hazardous e-cigs and oppose unwarranted vaping bans that are based on false fear mongering claims.

    In sharp contrast, the vaping ban to be imposed by French Health Minister Marisol Touraine would protect cigarette markets and threaten the lives of millions of smokers and vapers, which is public health malpractice.

    For disclosure, neither I nor Smokefree Pennsylvania have ever received any funding from any tobacco, drug or e-cig company.

    Bill Godshall
    Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
    1926 Monongahela Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15218
    412-351-5880
    BillGodshall@verizon.net