France's plan is to make all cigarette packets plain, with no logos or distinct packaging, instead showing shocking images and health warnings designed to put off young would-be smokers, Les Echos reported on Wednesday.
The intent is to eliminate the cachet attached to well-known symbols like the bright red of Marlboro packages and certain other brand names popular among the nearly quarter of the French people who smoke.
On Thursday, Health Minister Marisol Touraine will present the legislation at a cabinet meeting before announcing it at a press conference.
Commenting on the legislation, Bertrand Dautzenberg, president of the French Office for the Prevention of Smoking told Les Echos: “It denormalizes tobacco, like the ban on smoking in public places that has not changed consumption significantly, but has changed the order of things.”
Proposed by French President François Hollande in February during the launch of ‘Cancer Plan’ prevention programme, the legislation is part of the government’s national plan to crack down on smoking.
However the measure is likely to face opposition from tobacco companies.
SEE ALSO: Paris to try out smoke-free parks
So far the measure, which has the backing of the World Health Organization and the European Commission, has only been successfully introduced in Australia.
Touraine’s bill also would seek to apply the country’s public smoking ban to the booming use of electronic cigarettes. Currently users can fire up the devices in bars, cafes and restaurants because the devices use vapour and not smoke to deliver nicotine.
Currently France has one of the highest rates of tobacco consumption among youths in Europe and thousands of its people die every year from smoking-related cancer.