France moves to ban smoking at beaches, parks, other public spots

France moves to ban smoking at beaches, parks, other public spots

France is banning smoking at beaches, public parks, forests and certain other public spaces, notably those in close to schools, the country’s Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau unveiled Tuesday.

The goal of the measures is to usher in a “tobacco-free generation by 2032” and to curb the staggering toll of 75,000 tobacco-related deaths annually, he said during a press conference.

“What we want with this plan is to stop trivializing smoking,” he was quoted as saying by CNN affiliate BFMTV.

“The fun, leisure aspect of smoking has to go,” he continued, adding that “Two hundred preventable tobacco-related deaths per day… is a number we should not get used to.”

Rousseau did not specify when the measures would take effect, but suggested that fines could be implemented as early as next year.

He added that there will also be a phased increase in cigarette prices, with a packet projected to cost 12 euros, about $13, in 2025 and 13 euros, or $14, by 2027.

Earlier this year, French authorities announced their intention to ban disposable e-cigarettes as part of a broader effort to tackle the public health crisis associated with tobacco use.

The National Assembly is expected to hold an initial vote on a law banning e-cigs next month.

In 2008, the French government followed the lead of other European countries – including Italy, Belgium, Spain, Britain and Ireland – when it enacted a smoking ban for bars, restaurants and cafes.

Smoking had already been banned the year prior in France’s workplaces, schools, airports, hospitals and other “closed and covered” public places such as train stations.

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