Tuesday, June 4, 2013

France: people still smoking, so ban using smoke-free e-cigarettes

"France will ban electronic cigarette smoking in public places by imposing the same curbs enforced since 2007 to combat tobacco smoking, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Friday." (Reuters)

Really? The 2007 smoking ban has been able to "combat tobacco smoking?" As usual, I did some research. (Unfortunately, it seemed impossible to find the French adult smoking rates from 2000 - 2012 online, so I went with the number of cigarettes sold as an indicator.)

From 2002 to 2007, the number of cigarettes sold in France declined 37.9%. Since the smoking ban was imposed in 2007, the number of cigarettes sold has declined only 7.5%, as of 2012. For the five years before the ban, the average drop in cigarette sales was 6.3% per year. After the ban, the annual decline has been 1.3% on average. (Source: French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2013 Edition

Not much has changed since France imposed a smoking ban.

According to the facts, has the enforcement of the smoking ban actually contributed anything "to combat tobacco smoking?"  Based on the numbers, French smokers were already buying fewer and fewer cigarettes every year and progress actually DECLINED after the smoking ban was passed. (There was actually a 2.6% INCREASE in the number of cigarettes sold from 2008 - 2009!) 

So, how is banning the use of a smoke-free alternative like e-cigarettes going to accomplish ANYTHING??

However, there IS some positive news - the researchers have determined that around 500,000 French smokers have switched to smoke-free e-cigarettes. (Unfortunately, many may return to smoking once they are kicked to the curb again!)

Dr. Michael Siegel also did an interesting commentary on this topic today on his tobacco policy blog at: http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/06/french-health-ministry-to-ban.html.


  1. Why are they imposing bans on electronic cigarettes, people can quit the habit of smoking with the help of these devices.

  2. I don't see any rational in banning e-cigars in the French market, after all France is composed of liberal society, in fact they legalized same sex marriage.

  3. To stay healhty amnd long it is must to stay out of smoking thing and stay long.

  4. France? Really? They're known for their berets, cigarettes, and espresso.

  5. yeah all these laws on ecigs and normal cigs just get stupid