The French parliament has backed a proposal to ban single-use electronic cigarettes, which the government has said encourages “bad habits” in teenagers and are harmful to the environment.
The national assembly voted unanimously for the move late on Monday, which still needs backing from France’s upper house senate as well as clearance from the EU Commission.
Cheap pre-filled disposable e-cigarettes, known in France as puffs, are popular with young people. They come in many flavours and can have a high nicotine content.
“They open a pathway to serious addiction,” the French health minister, Aurelien Rousseau, said.
“They’re ridiculously cheap, the fruity and sugary flavours are attractive, and their small size makes them easy to hide from parents,” said the MP Francesca Pasquini, who submitted the draft law in November last year.
The bill’s co-sponsor, Michel Lauzzana, said France’s National Academy of Medicine qualifies disposable vapes as “a sneaky trap especially for children and teenagers”.
The motion, which was supported by all 104 members of parliament present, also has the backing of the French prime minister, Elisabeth Borne, who in September called for a ban on the single-use vaping devices, which at the time she accused of giving “bad habits to young people”.
MPs criticised the ecological impact of the disposable e-cigarettes, which Rousseau called an “environmental calamity”.
The measure, which is part of a wider government anti-smoking campaign, will go to the Senate for approval. It then needs the green light from the EU Commission, which will notably rule on whether a ban would be a “proportionate” response to the problem.
If it wins the commission’s approval, the government said it hoped the ban would be effective by September 2024.
The French move against puffs, introduced in France two years ago, follows similar initiatives in Germany and Ireland.
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