Will "puffs", these disposable electronic cigarettes popular with teenagers, soon be banned in France? In any case, this is the hope of deputies from several political groups who want to vote for their ban, which the Minister of Health said he was in favor of.
This fashion for small colored tubes that we inhale arrived in France at the end of 2021. Sold for between eight and 12 euros at tobacconists, on websites or in supermarkets, they come in a wide range of flavors (strawberry ice cream, cola sparkling or other bubble gum), and offer a certain number of puffs for a nicotine level between 0 and 20 mg/ml.
"What struck me is that the puffs attract above all young people who can consume them quietly in their room, without being detected since it does not leave a smell", testified Thursday the ecologist deputy Francesca Pasquini, member of the Nupes group during a press briefing at the Assembly.
Last November, she launched a bill to ban these electronic cigarettes, now signed by 63 deputies from eight different political groups, excluding LR and RN.
At the beginning of May, the Minister of Health François Braun said he was in favor of a ban on puffs, which "bring a young part of our population to smoking". The minister "will work with parliamentarians and associations mobilized on the subject," his cabinet told AFP on Thursday.
"With this support, we are hopeful of achieving a ban by the end of the year," said Francesca Pasquini, recalling that several European countries such as Germany, Belgium and Ireland have already started a such movement.
The MP now hopes that her bill will be included on the Assembly's agenda so that it can be debated in session in October or November.
"Everything is in place for the ban to happen quickly", rejoiced the deputy of the presidential majority, Karl Olive (Renaissance), present at the press point and support of the text. He put forward a measure "which wants to be transpartisan" and which does not call for "no state of mind".
In the Senate too, the subject is on the agenda.
During the debates on the Social Security financing bill for 2023, the senators had voted a dissuasive tax on these products, which had not been retained by the government.
Senator LR Catherine Procaccia has just been given a mission on alternatives to tobacco by the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices (OPECST), which informs Parliament on decisions in these areas. Its conclusions will be delivered at the end of September.
"To date, there is not yet a substantiated scientific study on the subject, but politicians were concerned about the phenomenon before the health authorities", welcomed the parliamentarian.
Many doctors, however, have sounded the alarm. Last February, the National Academy of Medicine spoke of a “real trap set for children and adolescents with a view to leading them to an addiction to tobacco products”.
The Alliance Against Tobacco association has wanted to position itself as a “whistleblower” since 2022, underlines its president Loïc Josseran, present at the press point. "We are on a real health risk," he insists.
According to the association, 13% of adolescents between 13 and 16 years old have already consumed a puff, a younger population than those who are new to tobacco.
"If we do nothing, we are preparing the next generation of smokers", warns Loïc Josseran, fearing a "pediatric epidemic".
Sanitary, the issue is also environmental. Disposable, the puffs are indeed made of plastic and contain a non-recyclable lithium battery. “In the UK, every week 1.3 million puffs end up in the trash,” lamented Francesca Pasquini.
05/25/2023 18:38:02 - Paris (AFP) - © 2023 AFP