France Declares World’s Hardest Anti-Tobacco Regulation

December 15th, 2014 00:00

France, where a well-known Gauloises cigarette brand once was seen in hands of every actor or intellectual, intends to switch to one of the hardest anti-tobacco regulations worldwide. Garish colors and brand names on cigarette packages will be substituted by graphic health warnings in large type and by visible pictures of the infected organs of smokers. Car drivers and passengers will also be prohibited from smoking in presence of children under 12. Although these steps will not become effective until 2016, a hard-edged TV and radio campaign begun these days. There will also be a charge on cigarette makers to finance anti-smoking promotions, and steps to disclose the concealed lobbying of the tobacco industry.


Ms. Touraine’s long lasting goal is to decrease the French smoking rate – one in three adults– to the existing British rate of one in five adults, by 2024. Just one country, Australia, has banned tobacco products branding and enforced “neutral” cigarette packaging. Identical steps are currently examined in Britain and Ireland.

The giant tobacco companies are likely to sue the French government if it moves on with its plan. They state that outlawing exclusive packaging and eliminating brand names to small-print, is a clear  attack on “intellectual property” and also comes in contrast to European law. Tobacconists’ organisations are intimidating street demonstrations. Some centre-right politicians intend to oppose the “not in front of the children” regulation, which would cover cars and playgrounds. “Police representatives would be better employed pursuing delinquents than cigarette users,” stated Thierry Lazaro, a centre-right associate of parliament.

Until the late 1960s, practically 2/3 of French men lighted up – yet far fewer women. Already starting 1976, a range of progressively tight steps has been released, concluding in a ban on smoking in all public enclosed places, including bars and restaurants, from 2006. The smoking rate among French men is significantly decreased however; the habit has affected French women too. The smoking rate is currently gender-equal at merely under 30 %.

Ms. Touraine is planning to eliminate smoking completely. French adolescents are these days lighting up evn more than their parents do. It was found out that, the smoking rate among 17-year-olds constitutes 30 %, for both boys and girls. Numerous anti-smoking campaigners were dissatisfied that Ms. Touraine’s strategy involves no additional sharp increases in tobacco taxes. The price of a package of 20 cigarettes in France has doubled in 14 years to 7 Euro.

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