Puffs, disposable electronic cigarettes that are very popular with youth, should be banned, French Health Minister François Braun told radio broadcaster France Inter Wednesday, adding they are a gateway to smoking for many.
In France, one in 10 teenagers has already tried a puff – an e-cigarette made very popular through social media – according to a survey by the Alliance against Tobacco published in October last year.
“I am in favour of banning electronic cigarettes, ‘puffs’, because they bring a young part of our population to smoking, which is a scourge,” Braun told the radio broadcaster, noting that 75,000 people die from smoking each year in France.
Among the young people who puff, 28% started to consume nicotine through this product, while 17% then turned to another form of nicotine or tobacco product.
Like in Germany, Belgium and Ireland, Braun wants the puff banned in France and has announced his wish to work with parliamentarians on prohibiting their sale – a plan that could be part of the government’s future anti-smoking plan 2023-2028.
On Monday, the Alliance Against Tobacco, Surfrider Foundation Europe and about twenty doctors and environmental associations also called for a ban on puffs in France.
“The disposable electronic cigarette ‘puff’, an environmental and health scourge that must be banned urgently,” they wrote in their call that was published in Le Monde.
Beyond the impact on health, the associations are alert to its consequences on the environment. More than one million puffs are thrown away every week, according to a UK study from July last year.
Another study published in March by the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Trends (OFDT) points to adolescents consuming triple the number of e-cigarettes, including puff, between 2017 and 2022.
(Clara Bauer-Babef | EURACTIV.fr)
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