The hunt for “puffs” continued in Parliament with the unanimous vote of the Senate on Wednesday to ban these single-use electronic cigarettes popular with young people, a new step in a process which will still have to be validated by Brussels.
After the National Assembly at the beginning of December, the senators in turn approved the ban on these non-refillable “puffs”, with very diverse flavors and affordable prices, which 15% of adolescents aged 13 to 16 have already used according to a recent survey, almost half of them introduced themselves to nicotine with this product.
“Health danger for the youngest”
“The marketing of these products is designed to attract young people with these colors, these fruits and these scents, these low prices. We are seeing devices come onto the market with contents equivalent to 18 packs of cigarettes. It is a health danger for the youngest (…) a health, social and environmental scourge,” warned the Minister of Labor and Health during the session. Catherine Vautrinvery favorable to this transpartisan bill, initiated by the environmentalist MP Francesca Pasquini.
The senators, dominated by the right and the center, nevertheless very slightly modified the text to clarify the scope of the ban, which now concerns “the manufacture, offering for sale, sale, distribution or offering as free” of these products, as well as their possession with a view to sale or distribution. Violations of this ban would be punished with a fine of 100,000 euros.
Tobacco-free generation 2032
Senators and deputies will now have to reach a common text during a joint joint committee (CMP) in small committee, before the final adoption of the text.
But the agreement of the European Commission will also be required before this ban is applied, which is part of the government’s plan to combat smoking for “a generation free of tobacco from 2032”.
Once notified, Brussels then has six months to respond and give its opinion, particularly on the proportionality of the ban.
The environmental group in the National Assembly had called on the government to notify the Commission without further delay, but Ms. Vautrin said on Wednesday that she had to wait until the text was “stabilized”.