Raising Tobacco Prices: France's Effective Anti-Smoking Strategy

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Raising Tobacco Prices: France's Effective Anti-Smoking Strategy
France's Health and Prevention Minister, Aurélien Rousseau, announces a national anti-smoking plan to increase tobacco prices for smoking prevention.

In a press conference held on November 28th, French Health and Prevention Minister Aurélien Rousseau informed the media that "increasing tobacco prices" is the most effective anti-smoking measure, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and all independent studies.


The aim of this initiative is to create a "smoke-free generation" in France by 2032, which is a commitment made by the current President of France, Emmanuel Macron.


In order to achieve this goal, Minister of Health Rousseau elaborated on the two main pillars of the plan: "strengthening taxation on tobacco and implementing prohibitions.


The primary objective is to prevent people, especially young individuals, from starting to smoke and to better assist smokers in quitting, particularly those who have limited financial means. As a key measure, the plan aims to increase prices and reduce the affordability of cigarettes.


Currently, the prices of tobacco brands have reached 11 euros per pack of 20 cigarettes. It is expected that this price will increase to at least 13 euros by 2026, with a first increase to 12 euros in 2025.


Cigarette packaging prices are set to increase starting January 1, 2024, due to inflation, causing a price hike of 40 to 50 euro cents.


In addition, Rousseau also announced, "According to Prime Minister Elizabeth's commitment, we will prohibit the use of disposable e-cigarettes, as it is an absurd practice in terms of public health and environmental protection.


A proposal to ban the sale of disposable e-cigarettes, particularly those favored by teenagers, has been put forth by a bipartisan bill. This bill will be reviewed by the committee on Tuesday afternoon and deliberated in the House of Representatives on December 4th.


Furthermore, it was announced by Rousso that all beaches, public parks, forests, and certain public places, especially those surrounding schools, will be designated as smoke-free zones.


"Smoke-free will now become the norm," he insisted. Smoke-free zones, which currently number over 7,200 and are present in more than 73 districts, are primarily the result of local government initiatives. "Today, we are taking responsibility and establishing this principle as a rule," he further explained.


Opposition to the cigarette plan intends to continue the efforts made in recent years to make tobacco less attractive by implementing neutral packaging without any branding for all tobacco and e-cigarette products.


The government plans to introduce a new "My Prevention Assessment" mechanism during crucial moments in people's lives to help smokers quit. The Ministry of Health assures that it will be a systematic opportunity to identify tobacco addiction. All stakeholders in the tobacco economy, especially tobacco retailers, will receive the necessary support to transform their industry.


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