[Ip-health] France24: France moves towards plain cigarette packaging and e-cig ban

Ruth Lopert ruth.lopert at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 09:21:52 PDT 2014

see http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4026465.htm

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 7:31 AM, Ruth Lopert <ruth.lopert at gmail.com> wrote:

> "Australia has already introduced plain packaging, and the number of
> cigarettes sold has actually gone up."
> If that were true, why would they be objecting to it?
> On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 7:11 AM, Thiru Balasubramaniam <
> thiru at keionline.org> wrote:
>> http://www.france24.com/en/20140530-france-moves-towards-plain-cigarette-packaging-e-cig-ban/
>> Latest update : 2014-05-30
>> France is considering a move towards plain packaging for cigarettes and
>> banning e-cigarettes in public places in what could be one of the world’s
>> toughest anti-smoking policies.
>> Health Minister Marisol Touraine will next month present a law that would
>> stop cigarette manufacturers from printing their distinctive logos on
>> packages, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Friday.
>> The newspaper said that plain packaging, with the cigarette brand written
>> in small lettering under a graphic health warning, would be one of a
>> number
>> of measures to curb smoking, including a ban on using e-cigarettes, or
>> “vaping”, in public places, Le Figaro said.
>> Australia pioneered plain packaging for cigarettes in 2012 and Britain,
>> New
>> Zealand and Ireland all plan similar bans.
>> The proposed legislation will be presented to French lawmakers next month.
>> France’s tobacco retailers, whose strictly regulated “Tabac” outlets are a
>> feature of the French landscape, believe that the government has
>> misunderstood the problem if it pushes ahead with this legislation.
>> “We are deeply shocked,” Pascal Montredon, who is head of France’s tobacco
>> retailers’ union, told Le Figaro. “We all feel that the government doesn’t
>> know what it’s doing. Australia has already introduced plain packaging,
>> and
>> the number of cigarettes sold has actually gone up.
>> “This measure will make the packets easier to copy and increase the number
>> of counterfeit cigarettes,” he added. “As for banning electronic
>> cigarettes
>> in public places, why not? But the real problem is that sales are not
>> regulated. We’ve asked the government to act on this and they’ve done
>> nothing. Only regulated Tabacs should be able to sell these products.”
>> Smokers’ paradise
>> With its cafe culture and chain-smoking Nouvelle Vague movie stars, France
>> earned a reputation as a smokers’ paradise after World War Two.
>> Iconic dark-tobacco brands like Gitanes, favoured by Gainsbourg, who
>> smoked
>> up to five packs a day, and Gauloises, preferred by philosopher Jean-Paul
>> Sartre, grew hugely popular, in part thanks to their stylish packaging.
>> While the reputation sticks, smoking rates in France have since plummeted.
>> Less than a third of the population now lights up regularly, which is
>> about
>> average for the European Union and down sharply from nearly 60 percent in
>> the 1960s.
>> Tough anti-tobacco laws were introduced in 1991 which forced cigarette
>> manufacturers to display health warnings on packets and forbade
>> large-scale
>> advertising on billboards and TV. Smoking in public places was banned in
>> 2007.
>> Advocates of plain packaging argue that stripping packets of eye-catching
>> logos is effective in reducing smoking among young people. Currently, one
>> in three French people aged 15 to 19 is a smoker, according to the Health
>> Ministry.
>> As French smoking rates have declined, so has the country’s once-vibrant
>> tobacco industry. The state-owned Seita brand that produced Gauloises and
>> Gitanes was bought by Britain’s Imperial Tobacco in 2008, and much of its
>> production moved abroad.
>> In April, Imperial Tobacco announced the closure of the largest Gauloise
>> cigarette factory in France, prompting the factory’s 327 workers to go on
>> strike and hold five managers hostage on the worksite, near Nantes, this
>> week.
>> The managers were released on Thursday after a day of captivity.
>> *(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)*
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