This recent announcement by the French government was issued as part of a wider anti-smoking initiative. This initiative aims to reduce by 500,000 the number of smokers every year, thanks to a number of recently-adopted measures. Among these, one that has already begun is the progressive raising of cigarette prices to reach 10 Euros within 3 years. This campaign was launched in November 2017, with a 0.35 Euro raise, and will be raised until November 2020.
More recently, the second operation in the initiative was launched: “Tobacco-Free Month” (similar to Stoptober in the UK) to encourage smoking cessation. The government has also planned to strengthen measures to raise awareness among smokers about associated health risks.
From 2018, a second national smoking reduction programme will be launched. This second initiative boasts a budget of almost 130 million Euros per year. It is expected to intensify anti-smoking preventive actions.
A government dedicated to smoking cessation
Alongside the preventive measures launched domestically, the Government has action plans that are wider in scope. For example, they plan to limit tobacco quantities transiting through the European Union. Government measures will in this context restrict transport of tobacco products to bordering nations, and standardise tax rates on tobacco products.
And last but not least, the fight against black-market cigarette products will be reinforced with new measures. This will be implemented with a new regulatory framework that will establish standardised EU-wide border checking measures.
France seems to be working towards stronger and stricter prevention measures in order to eradicate smoking. However, unlike their British counterparts, the French government is not looking to invest in alternatives such as vaping. It seems like there remains a long journey before France can declare itself a “smoke-free state”.