• August 9, 2020

France facing a fit of the vapors

France is preparing to place e-cigarette use on the same legal footing as tobacco smoking with draft legislation that aims to ban vaping in public places, according to a story by Paris-based Anne Penketh for the Guardian, quoting Le Figaro.

The health minister, Marisol Touraine, intends to table the bill on June 17.

The proposed bill comes at a time when e-cigarette stores have been springing up across France, which now has almost 1 million e-cigarette users.

The president of the French Tobacconists’ Confederation, Pascal Montredon, was said to have told the Guardian that Touraine was being unrealistic by modelling her reforms on “Anglo-Saxon” countries such as Australia and Britain, where the cigarette distribution network was completely different to that of France.

The confederation, he said, was pressing for e-cigarettes to be sold solely in tobacconists, but the proposed legislation failed to address this issue.

Touraine’s office apparently did not confirm the report in Le Figaro, but the ministry said that a “national smoking reduction plan” was under consideration.