Tobacconists in France are claiming that e-cigarettes fall under the tobacco sale monopoly law and should therefore be sold exclusively by them, according to a EurActiv story.
“We want that the sale of the electronic cigarette is done exclusively within the framework of the network of tobacconists,” said Jean-Luc Renaud, secretary general of the confederation of tobacconists.
At present, e-cigarettes are sold in a variety of shops, but a tobacconist is said to have lodged an “unfair competition” complaint against a supplier on the grounds that the product can be considered to be a derivative of tobacco.
The EurActiv story said there was a legal vacuum on the matter in France, even though a law of 1983 stated that cigarettes and smoking products “fall under the monopoly distribution of tobacconists,” “even if they do not contain tobacco.”
Meanwhile, another legal controversy is enveloping e-cigarettes, and that has to do with advertising. Tobacco advertising is prohibited in France under the Evin law, but this does not seem to cover e-cigarettes.
French Health Minister Marisol Touraine has said several times that advertising for e-cigarettes would be prohibited, but she has not tabled legislation.