Up until now, health minister Agnès Buzyn had never made an official statement considering her stance on electronic cigarettes. Today, however, she is speaking out, to the dismay of vaping fans throughout France. According to her spokesperson, the government is not ready to recognize the benefits of vaping.
Agnès Buzyn recently responded to senator Yves Daudigny, who asked her a couple of questions about vaping. The answers reveal two important things: first, the association Vaping Working Group seems to have been brushed to the side, and secondly, the health minister still does not consider e-cigarettes a legitimate nicotine substitute.
Created in 2016, the Vaping Working Group (Groupe de Travail Vapotage) was meant to unite all of the various sectors of the vaping market. For Agnès Buzyn, its job was limited to managing the application of European statutes on tobacco products. But the group, it seems, has now become obsolete.
Public authorities reject the e-cigarette
In terms of the act of vaping itself, the health minister remains staunch in her opposition. Instead, she argues for the benefits of other nicotine substitutes without acknowledging the fact that e-cigarettes are legitimate substitutes. She justifies her stance with a vague discussion about the current “passions” and “controversies” surrounding vaping.
The health minister does not believe vaping has any role to play in helping people quit smoking! For her, it is “impossible to have a solid scientific basis” when discussing e-cigarettes, which blatantly ignores numerous international studies in support of e-cigarettes.
Even more surprisingly, Agnès Buzyn speaks about “very strong differences of opinion amongst EU member states.” This is a thinly veiled contradiction of the opinion of British health authorities: indeed, the United Kingdom is a major proponent of e-cigarettes and their usefulness in helping smokers wean themselves off of tobacco.