France adopts tough new anti-smoking measures

Transposition into law of the European directive on tobacco, and advent of plain packaging – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Paris, 18 May 2016

“France is now a pioneer of the anti-smoking campaign in Europe” (Marisol Touraine)

At this morning’s Council of Ministers’ meeting, Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, presented the order transposing the European directive to strengthen the anti-smoking campaign. Thanks to this legislation, and with the introduction of plain cigarette packaging in two days’ time, “France is now a pioneer of the anti-smoking campaign in Europe”, the Minister said. And the drive does not end there: Marisol Touraine is today announcing the creation of an anti-smoking fund provided with €32 million this year, as well as the launch of two major publicity campaigns to encourage people to stop smoking.

With more than a third of French people saying they are smokers, and nearly 80,000 deaths a year – i.e. more than 200 a day –, smoking is damaging France’s health. To combat the scourge, Marisol Touraine has deployed a raft of significant measures, including a tripling of reimbursements for nicotine substitutes like patches, pregnant woman logos on cigarette packets, and smoking bans in children’s play areas.

France is today officially adopting hard-hitting new measures. An order presented at the Council of Ministers’ meeting this morning transposes into law Directive 2014/40/EU on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products: it enables new measures to be implemented from 20 May 2016 onwards, including a ban on flavours and additives (for example, menthol capsules) which are particularly attractive to young people. Plain cigarette packaging, approved in the law on the modernization of our health system, will also come into force on 20 May.

The Minister also announced the creation of an anti-smoking fund provided with €32 million this year.

Finally, to encourage everyone to play an active role, Marisol Touraine is today announcing the launch of two major publicity campaigns:

• from 23 May to 30 June 2016, a radio and Internet campaign to combat preconceived ideas playing down the impact of smoking on health and to encourage the use of Tabac Info Service [resource to help people stop smoking];

• in November 2016, a “moi(s) sans tabac” [smoke-free month] – a campaign devised as a collective challenge to urge as many smokers as possible to quit for 30 days. The campaign is inspired by the British initiative Stoptober and will be France’s first major social marketing experiment.

“France is now a pioneer of the anti-smoking campaign in Europe: we’re not resigning ourselves to the scourge.” (Marisol Touraine) ./.

Published on 27/05/2016

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