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French Plans Will Push People To Smoke

The French government’s nicotine and tobacco policy risks pushing people towards cigarettes says a consumer advocacy organisation

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Latest developments on the nicotine and tobacco policy in France risk pushing former smokers back to smoking, says consumer advocacy organisation World Vapers’ Alliance. On Tuesday, 14 November, French Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau opened the door to a possible ban on the sale of nicotine pouches in France in a talk show on Sud Radio.

Health Minister Rousseau is currently developing a new Tobacco Control Framework to tackle smoking in France and is working with the government on the disposable vape ban.

Julia Kril, PR Manager for the World Vapers’ Alliance, told Planet of the Vapes: “Very often in attempts to tackle smoking, policymakers wrongly believe that nicotine is the root cause. However, several studies by medical research organisations have confirmed that while nicotine is an addictive component of cigarettes, it is not cancerogenic. The combustion from tobacco is. By banning harm reduction products such as disposable vapes or nicotine pouches, which do not contain tobacco, French politicians will not solve the problem of 12 million smokers,”

“As France is trying to tackle the problem of smoking, it should look at successful examples, such as Sweden. Sweden has achieved the smoke-free status because it supports snus, a product that works similarly to nicotine pouches. Sweden employs a risk-based regulation, and the French Health Ministry should do the same. Banning less harmful alternatives such as e-cigarettes or nicotine pouches will only lead to a spike in the number of smokers in France,

Julia Kril concluded: “There are 12 million smokers in France, over 30% of its population. The 12 million people deserve a wide range of opportunities to quit, and switching to less harmful alternatives rather than quitting altogether has been proven a lot more effective. What the French Health Ministry is doing is pushing the French people back to smoking.

Back in September, Sweden announced a plan to reduce the tax on snus, a smokeless tobacco product, by 20% while increasing the tax on cigarettes and smoking tobacco by 9%.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, called it, “an exemplary move in fast-tracking the country even further towards its smoke-free target. By making less harmful alternatives like snus more accessible through tax reductions, Sweden is not just theorising harm reduction; it’s effectively implementing it.”

France needs to pay attention to the success that Sweden has had with its tobacco control efforts rather than following the World Health Organization.

At the time, Landl added: “Now is the time for the EU to follow Sweden’s lead. Implementing risk-based taxation and regulation for less harmful products like vaping and nicotine pouches—and legalising snus in the EU—would be a game-changer in public health policy.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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