France to Introduce Strict Anti-Smoking Laws for Tourists
Lightning one-up will no longer be allowed at French beaches, as the country has introduced a ban, in a national effort to help people quit smoking.
Starting in 2024, France will start a four-year plan for anti-tobacco and those found violating the rule, especially in places like schools and government-owned forests and green areas, might be fined as the authorities have yet to publish details, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
It is estimated that there are some 7,200 tobacco-free zones in the country, including woodland in southern France which is threatened by wildfires.
According to Euronews, the price of a pack of cigarettes in France will reach #13 in 2027 and disposable e-cigarettes will be banned. In addition, smoking in public spaces including parks, beaches and forests is prohibited. The European country is aiming at creating a “free of tobacco” generation by 2032.
Tobacco plays a key role in illnesses and preventable mortality, and every day France pays a heavy price for smoking.
It is considered that smoking is the top cause of preventable death in France, which takes the lives of 75,000 people per year. In addition, smoking is the top cause of premature death before 65 years old, as the health minister pointed out.
He also said that despite the figures, the daily use of tobacco concerns around 12 million French people, which is a quarter of the adult population.
Eurostat, the EU Office for Statistics reveals that the daily percentage share of smokers in France is higher than the EU average. More specifically, around 22.2 per cent of people aged 15 and older smoke daily in France compared to 19.7 per cent which is the average of smokers in the EU.
Prices of cigarettes are expected to rise gradually – with a pack costing €12 in 2025 and €13 in 2027, the government said. A pack is currently priced between €10-11.
Tobacco costs the state around €156 billion, including the economic value of lives lost, the loss of quality of life for patients with cancer caused by smoking and state spending on prevention and care.
France is not the only European country to introduce such measures as countries like Ireland, Hungary, Greece and Malta already have already implemented such measures.
Moreover, some cities such as Barcelona have banned smoking on beaches in an effort to stop cigarette butt littering. More than 100 of the country’s over 3,000 beaches introduced a ban in July including places such as the Costa del Sol and Balearic islands.