At the initiative of school children throughout the commune, it is now forbidden to smoke in certain areas in the town of Nogent-sur-Oise. It was thanks to their intervention, via the youth municipal council (CMI), that the new initiative was launched. Smoking near schools is now banned at the start and end of the school day, and infractions will cost you a fine of 38 euros.
Near the Carnot school, for example, you will find a No Smoking sign painted onto the asphalt, near the word “ZONE” in white block capitals. The CMI school children discovered the fruits of their campaigning recently. They explained that there had been many complaints by school-children bothered by smoking adults near them. They decided to take action and ban smoking where student traffic was high.
A difficult initiative to implement
The Nogent-sur-Oise experimental measure was not easy to roll out. Jean-François Dardenne, mayor of the town, explained that they even had to get police involved. It was also necessary to extend the mandate of the CMI elected officials to allow them to complete the process.
When it comes to parents, most are on board. Even smokers among them admitted that “calling out smokers didn’t really do any harm”. Tobacconist organisations were also on board with the initiative. They believed that it was better to increase preventive safety measures than to raise cigarette prices, which only helped the black market thrive.
These types of measure, a first in the region, had already been implemented elsewhere by the Ligue Contre le Cancer, a cancer awareness organisation. A first “Tobacco Free Zone” was created in Beauvais in July 2018, quickly followed by others near schools in Chaumont-en-Vexin. These types of smoking bans may spread to other areas throughout the year.