France Looks To Butt Out Electronic Cigarettes In Public
May 31, 2013

France Looks To Butt Out Electronic Cigarettes In Public

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

France is planning on banning the use of electronic cigarettes in public places, treating the devices like normal cigarettes.

French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said in an interview with French radio station France Info that she wants the electronic cigarettes to be banned from public places and their sale to be restricted to over-16 only. The minister added she wanted the electronic cigarette subject to the same restrictions as traditional cigarettes.

"The electronic cigarette is not an ordinary product. We need to apply the same measures as those for tobacco. Ensure it can not be smoking in public places. Whether its sale is prohibited to minors under eighteen years and there is no possibility of advertising," Marisol Touraine told the radio station on Friday morning.

The Minister of Social Affairs and Health added that they want to add a logo on tobacco packages encouraging pregnant women not to smoke. She said this new legislation would be included in the next bill funding Social Security.

France first banned smoking in public places back in 2008. Now Marisol wants to open up that ban to create "smoke-free spaces" outdoors as well, such as in children's parks.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five smokers tried out electronic cigarettes back in 2011.

“E-cigarette use is growing rapidly,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “There is still a lot we don´t know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes.”

The CDC said that research is still needed to assess how e-cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among youth.

“If large numbers of adult smokers become users of both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes – rather than using e-cigarettes to quit cigarettes completely – the net public health effect could be quite negative,” said Tim McAfee, MD MPH, director of the Office on Smoking and Health at CDC.

A study emerged last December that showed how electronic cigarettes actually do not help smokers kick the cancerous habit. Researchers at the Italian Health Ministry said not only do e-cigarettes not help smokers quit, but it also doesn't allow them to get their proper nicotine fix.

However, researchers in Athens, Greece reported last year that those who actually did use e-cigarettes to quit could benefit. The scientists found that electronic cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes, especially on the heart.