During an interview on RTL, the French health minister said that smokers should look towards nicotine substitutes and not vaping if they want to quit smoking. According to her, prescriptions for nicotine substitutes have the advantage of being reimbursed through France’s social security since 2018. Furthermore, the long-term health effects of vaping remain unknown.
Agnès Buzyn is worried about the consequences of vaping, and she wants to take a step back in order to properly understand the long-term health effects. She cited the cigarette as an example, because it took 30 years to prove that tobacco was harmful. Moreover, a recent study carried out by American researchers recently showed that e-cigarette users have higher rates of cardiovascular diseases than non-vapers.
For the time being, the French government does not want to classify vaping as a potential nicotine substitute, even though during the RTL interview, the health minister did recognize that vaping is less dangerous than smoking. According to her, precaution remains paramount.
Opinions differ from country to country
Countries throughout the world have different views towards vaping. In Great Britain, for example, vaping has been supported for years. At the end of 2018, manufacturers were even authorized to advertise the therapeutic benefits of vaping for those hoping to quit smoking. However, they are not allowed to advertise on television, radio, or in the press, and their marketing message must be based on solid scientific evidence.
Last year in Australia, the state of New South Wales instated a $550 fine for public vaping.
The decision was made to prevent people from being exposed to second-handing vaping, which according to Australian health authorities may be dangerous, an extreme measure that surprised citizens and scientists alike. In the United States, San Francisco is preparing to vote on a law that would ban vaping and any vaping-related advertising in the city, a measure that would surely result in the ire of e-cigarette users and manufacturers throughout California.