They are colorful, flavored with red fruits, banana or cotton candy, and soon… banned in France. On Monday, December 4, the National Assembly gave its unanimous green light at first reading to the text aimed at prohibiting puff. Arriving from the United States in 2021, this disposable electronic cigarette which may or may not contain nicotine has quickly won over young people. According to a study published in fall 2022 by the Alliance Against Tobacco (ACT), 13% of adolescents aged 13 to 16 have already tasted it and 9% have purchased it, despite its ban on sale to minors.
“This is the first time in Europe that a Parliament has decided on the ban on puff,” said environmentalist MP Francesca Pasquini, who tabled the text with Michel Lauzzana (Renaissance) a year ago. . Inspired by the example of New Caledonia, where the importation of this e-cigarette has been prohibited since May 2022, they have regularly warned of its “dazzling success” among young people and pointed out a “double challenge of public health and of environmental protection”. Lapuff in fact contains a small lithium battery which most often ends up in the trash, an “ecological disaster”, criticize the two deputies.
At the head of the ACT, Professor Loïc Josseran, very active in denouncing this product clearly targeting young consumers, goes so far as to denounce a “pediatric epidemic”. “Children start using these products around 11-12 years old, and 15% of 13-16 year olds consume them regularly: this is nothing less than predation for young people. Bringing nicotine into contact with brains at this age has no other objective for manufacturers than to build customer loyalty. It is the lives of children that we are putting at stake,” he said.
Towards the ban on other tobacco-derived products
Supported by the government – Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne had called for a ban on puffs at the beginning of September, a desire confirmed by the Minister of Health Aurélien Rousseau during the presentation of the national program to combat tobacco on November 28 – the text transpartisan will be examined by senators in the first half of 2024. “We hope that it can be adopted in a version identical to that of the Assembly to show the determination of our two chambers,” declared Michel Lauzzana.
After this first fight, he and Francesca Pasquini plan to request a ban on other tobacco-derived products, such as aromatic beads for cigarettes or even nicotine sachets, while an ANSES report has just pointed to an increase poisoning linked to the consumption of these products among young people. The Minister of Health announced that a reflection on a possible limitation of the number of flavors for electronic cigarettes would be carried out, certain tastes being likely to seduce young people and lead them, ultimately, towards the consumption of tobacco. Disposable or not, e-cigarettes must have neutral packaging, as provided for in the national tobacco control program, on the same model as the neutral packaging for classic cigarettes.