France to ban disposable 'puff' vapes

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France to ban disposable 'puff' vapes
Boxes of "puffs" disposable electronic cigarettes displayed at La Vapotitheque store in Bethune, northern France (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)

The French government has announced plans to ban disposable vapes - which campaigners say are targeted at children with bright colours and sweet flavours - as part of a new national campaign against tobacco consumption.


The French government intends to end the sale of disposable vapes (cigarettes électroniques) as part of a national anti-smoking campaign to be announced in the coming weeks.

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne told French radio network, RTL, on Sunday that she would continue the work of former health minister, François Braun, in banning the devices, which are commonly known as 'puff' vapes.

Multi-use vapes will remain on sale.

Borne explained that the disposable devices are particularly targeted at teenagers, offering colourful packaging and fruity flavours, like watermelon. 

Borne said that the disposable vapes "give young people bad habits".

"The disposable vapes become a reflex that young people become accustomed to. it is how they get into smoking, and we have to put a stop to that," the PM told RTL.

The prime minister did not give an exact timeline for the ban, but former health minister Braun had previously stated that the goal would be to enact legislation getting rid of the devices by the end of 2023.

Several other European countries have already taken action to ban the devices - such as Germany, Belgium and Ireland.

The disposable vapes, nicknamed 'puffs', are less expensive than cigarettes, with prices ranging from €8 to €12 for a '500 puff device'.

The electronic cigarettes can contain up to 20mg of nicotine. 


According to the French organisation, Alliance contre le tabac, even though minors are not legally allowed to purchase electronic cigarettes, 13 percent of 13 to 16-year-olds had already tried 'puffs'. 

Other than decreasing nicotine dependency in young people, the French prime minister referenced the environmental consequences of disposable vapes, which are made of plastic and contain a lithium battery that cannot be recycled.

The PM also told RTL that getting rid of disposable vapes would be part of a broader plan to decrease tobacco consumption in France to run from 2023-2028, to be released in the coming weeks.

As for the measures to be part of the campaign, Borne said that the price of cigarettes will not be going up in the near future. The price per a pack of cigarettes is set to remain stable in 2024, despite previous indications that it may have been upped. "We increased taxes on tobacco this year, and we do not plan to increase them next year," Borne told RTL.

According to the French government, tobacco accounts for 75,000 deaths a year and amounts to a "major public health issue", according to Borne.


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