France Unveils Plans to Curb Smoking

France will increase tobacco taxes, ban disposable vapes and further restrict outdoor smoking as part of an ambitious plan to reduce the health impact of tobacco consumption and create a “tobacco-free” generation by 2032, a term that is usually defined as a situation in which less than 5 percent of the population smokes.

Smoking rates in France have remained roughly unchanged since 2019 after decades of regularly declining, according to French public health authorities. Nearly a quarter of French adults, or about 12 million people, still smoke daily. Smoking is the leading cause of avoidable mortality in France, causing about 75,000 deaths per year.

Some 15 percent of teenagers have vaped, and 47 percent of them started their nicotine consumption through e-cigarettes, according to an ACT Alliance Contre Le Tabac survey published in November.

The government plan bans smoking on beaches, near public buildings like schools and in public parks and forests next year. Previously, local authorities had already barred people from smoking at more than 7,000 outdoor locations, including at beaches, forests and parks across the country, but there was no nationwide ban.

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