• France's news in English

Tobacconists protest as Paris hosts conference

AFP · 20 Jul 2015, 15:14

Published: 20 Jul 2015 15:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Tobacconists unhappy with France's plan to introduce plain cigarette packets in 2016 have taken matters into their own hands as France looks set to introduce plain packet cigarettes by 2016.
Since Saturday night, the tobacconists have covered speed cameras in several regions with plastic bags.
A spokesman from a tobacconist group in Corrèze, south western France, told France Bleu radio channel that "if the State could do without the taxes from cigarettes then they could do without their earnings from speed cameras".
The head of one of France's biggest tobacconist groups, Confédération des buralistes, said neutral packaging would have an "immediate impact" on the sales of cigarettes. 
"It will be welcome news for the counterfeiters because the packages will be easier to copy," Pascal Montredon told Le Figaro newspaper. 
"We're not saying that nothing should be done, we're saying that all European countries should adopt the same measures at the same time."
The tobacconists' actions come as representatives from nations as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Uruguay issued a joint statement saying that "significant scientific proof justified ... plain cigarette packaging".
The ministers said plain packaging had been shown to "reduce the attractiveness of the product for consumers, especially amongst women and young people" as well as increase the effectiveness of health warnings on packets.
(Photo: AFP)
Hosting the conference, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the aim was "a world without tobacco" and that "the generation that is born today should be a generation without tobacco".
She told French radio that smoking killed 78,000 people each year in France and that eight million smokers worldwide would die each year by 2030 if nothing were done.
According to the World Health Organization, one person currently dies every six seconds due to tobacco -- nearly six million people each year.
"My target, with plain packaging, is not long-term smokers but preventing young people from starting to smoke and for these people the plain packaging has an impact," said the minister.
Several countries have recently passed legislation to introduce plain cigarette packaging -- laws that have met with fierce opposition from the powerful tobacco lobby.
Story continues below…

(A sample of a "plain cigarette package" in France. Photo: AFP)   
Australia was the first to introduce plain packaging legislation in 2012 with Ireland, France and Britain following shortly afterwards.
In Australia, some studies have shown that the rate of young smokers has dropped following the introduction of plain packaging. The tobacco industry counters that high tobacco excise duty is the reason for the decline.
Britain and France are poised to introduce plain packaging from next year.
France has one of the highest rates of under-16 smokers in Europe and, in addition to the plain packaging measures, Touraine also announced last year that smoking would be banned in playgrounds and in cars with passengers under the age of 12.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available