At the Council of Ministers’ meeting, held on the morning of 18 May, Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, presented the order transposing the EU directive to strengthen France’s anti-smoking efforts, and reminded of the introduction of plain packaging on 20 May. “France is now a pioneer of the anti-smoking campaign in Europe”, the Minister said.
The new measures that are being implemented on 20 May inlude a ban on flavours and additives (for example, menthol capsules) which are particularly attractive to young people. Plain cigarette packaging, approved in the law on the modernistation of France’s health system, will also come into force on 20 May.
Marison Touraine also announced the creation of a anti-smoking fund of 32 million euros this year, as well as the launch of two major advertising campaigns to encourage people to stop smoking. One of them is a radio and Internet campaign, running from 23 May to 30 June, aimed at encouraging the use of Tabac Info Service (resource to help people to stop smoking). The other will follow in November 2016, a “moi sans tabac” (smoke-free month), a campaign designed to urge as many smokers as possible to quit for 30 days. This latter campaign was inspired by the UK initiative Stoptober and will be France’s first major social marketing experiment.
With more than one third of French people currently smoking, and nearly 80,000 deaths related to tobacco, it is evident to what extent smoking damages France’s health.