Has there finally been a shift in the way vaping is viewed in France? The Social Economic and Environmental Council (CESE) has just championed the benefits of vaping, especially in helping smokers give up traditional cigarettes. Up until now, French health authorities have not supported e-cigarettes, which are already considered a legitimate nicotine substitute in the United Kingdom.
The use and potential dangers of vaping have never been part of a major study in France. Authorities have never promoted the benefits of vaping, arguing that it could be considered a “gateway drug” for traditional cigarettes. The CESE has just revealed its report concerning tobacco and alcohol addiction, and for the first time, it has decided to defend the electronic cigarette.
The researchers, Etienne Caniard and Marie-Josée Auge-Caumon, promote the e-cigarette as a useful tool to quit smoking. Indeed, their opinion cannot be clearer: according to them, it is time to “consider the electronic cigarette as one of the many tools used to fight tobacco addiction.”
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Their report suggests promoting the use of e-cigarettes, and also encourages the training of professionals to help smokers turn towards vaping. Their opinion is of course justified, especially since e-cigarettes do not contain carbon monoxide or volatile, carcinogenic aldehydes.
The CESE has denounced the “excessive caution exercised by public authorities” in relation to the electronic cigarette. Accordingly, the Council hopes for a less-restrictive framework for e-cigarettes, and deplores the restrictive regulations applied to products that are not as close to as harmful as traditional cigarettes. The reimbursement of vaping devices was not discussed.
This ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors is considered legitimate, and there is even support for the ban of vaping in certain public locations. The report also makes clear that there must be a differentiation between tobacco-heating products and the electronic cigarette.