Paris, France — Latest developments on the nicotine and tobacco policy in France risk pushing former smokers back to smoking, says consumer advocacy organisation World Vapers’ Alliance. On Tuesday, 14 November, French Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau in a talk show on Sud Radio opened the door to a possible ban on the sale of nicotine pouches in France.
The Health Minister is currently developing a new Tobacco Control Framework to tackle smoking in France and is working with the government on the disposable vape ban.
“Very often in attempts to tackle smoking, policymakers wrongly believe that nicotine is the root cause. However, several studies by medical research organisations have confirmed that while nicotine is an addictive component of cigarettes, it is not cancerogenic. The combustion from tobacco is. By banning harm reduction products such as disposable vapes or nicotine pouches, which do not contain tobacco, French politicians will not solve the problem of 12 million smokers,” says PR Manager of the World Vapers’ Alliance, Julia Kril.
“As France is trying to tackle the problem of smoking, it should look at successful examples, such as Sweden. Sweden has achieved the smoke-free status because it supports snus, a product that works similarly to nicotine pouches. Sweden employs a risk-based regulation, and the French Health Ministry should do the same. Banning less harmful alternatives such as e-cigarettes or nicotine pouches will only lead to a spike in the number of smokers in France,” added Kril.
“There are 12 million smokers in France, over 30% of its population. The 12 million people deserve a wide range of opportunities to quit, and switching to less harmful alternatives rather than quitting altogether has been proven a lot more effective. What the French Health Ministry is doing is pushing the French people back to smoking,” concluded Kril.
Earlier this year, Sweden announced a program of lowering tax on snus and nicotine pouches while significantly raising cigarette tax.
World Vapers’ Alliance has released an extensive fact sheet on vaping and tobacco harm reduction, which is available here.