France Extends Smoking Bans to E-Cigs
The French Health Ministry has extended its ban on smoking in public places to cover electronic cigarettes. It has also banned sales of ecigs to minors, and banned advertising of e-cigarettes as well.
Half a million people in France have turned to ecigarettes, motivating the government to step in and regulate the devices; officials, however, recommended against an outright ban on e-cigs, saying they appear to be safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes. One of the concerns expressed by France’s Health Minister is that e-cigs could encourage “mimicking” behavior, encouraging people to take up smoking after trying electronic cigarettes.
The French ban on smoking has been, in some people’s eyes, surprisingly effective. A country where smoking was nearly ubiquitous until recent years has drastically reduced the number of smokers after just a few years of the ban on public smoking.
France is one of several countries taking governmental action against e-cigarettes, even though most experts agree that more study is needed before any conclusions can be drawn on the efficacy and potential hazards of vaping.