France is the latest country to join the list of countries that have taken the initiative to ban disposable e-cigarettes for the danger they pose to the environment.


Image Credit – Firstpost

France is the newest country to take action against e-cigarettes and disposable vapes due to the danger they pose to public health and the environment. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne recently spoke on RTL radio and said this measure is a part of the new anti-smoking plan that is being drawn by the country’s government. The campaigners commented that this measure is set to be in force by the end of 2023. Other countries in Europe like Germany, Belgium, and Ireland have recently announced similar action that bans vaping in their countries. Now it is said that the UK is also considering a similar action.

Tobacconists are the primary seller of e-cigarettes or disposable vapes all over the country of France which typically cost around €9 (£7.70). This cost is less than a pack of 20 cigarettes that are available in the country. However, one e-cigarette is supposed to offer a total of 600 puffs which is roughly equivalent to 40 cigarettes. France’s National Academy of Medicine described disposable vapes as a “particularly sly trap for children and adolescents”. Going with a similar statement, Élisabeth Borne said, “they create a reflex, a gesture, which children get used to, and then end up being drawn to tobacco”.

According to campaigners, manufacturers, many of which are based in China, are deliberately and intentionally targeting teenagers as they use bright colors and flavors that are “reminiscent of the sweet shop” including flavors like marshmallow, hazelnut, chocolate, ice candy, watermelon, etc. Alliance Against Tobacco (ACT) has published a report that states 13% of 13-16-year-olds have tried these disposable vapes that are known as ‘puffs’ in France at least once. Most of the participants in this report have stated that they started using e-cigarettes around the age of 11. The ACT president Loïc Josseran said, “[The ban] is a great victory for civil society. These disposable e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway to smoking for young people.” “It’s become an epidemic. It is terrible how the tobacco industry has set out to hook children”, he continued.

Sam, a 16-year-old schoolboy from Paris said he began smoking ‘puffs’ two years ago. It was shortly after these puffs first arrived in the country. Upon asking why he started smoking, he replied, “They were talking about it a lot on TikTok. It was like a trend. And I thought, yeah why not? They’re colourful, and in my head they are not as dangerous as tobacco.”

Even though according to law it is not possible to buy e-cigarettes under 18 years old, according to Sam, making that exception was not hard. In this case, ACT has said that tobacconists have a system of refraining them from asking for age proof to buyers. At the same time, puffs are damaging the environment as well. According to reports, “disposable e-cigarette was made of plastic and contained a non-removable battery with around 0.15 grams of lithium, as well as nicotine salts and traces of heavy metals.”