Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Controversy Surrounding France’s Proposed Ban on Disposables


On September 4th, France unveiled plans to ban disposable e-cigarettes, prompting calls from British organizations and anti-e-cigarette activists for the UK government to follow suit. John Dunn, the Secretary General of the UK Vaping Industry Association, voiced concerns to 2FIRSTS on September 5th, suggesting that this ban in France might actually lead to an increase in smoking rates. According to Dunn, what the UK needs is not a ban, but rather a tightening of existing laws.

John Dunn expressed that France’s plan to ban disposable devices not only fails to curb tobacco use but could also potentially result in an increase in smoking rates.

John Dunn said that French Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne announced on Sunday that this ban would become part of a new national plan to tackle the country’s rising smoking rates. In France, smoking causes 75,000 deaths per year, but if they continue to implement this policy, the mortality rate will increase instead of decrease.

He believes that there is a significant demand for disposable e-cigarette devices in both the UK and France, and if they are banned, this demand will not simply disappear. Instead, e-cigarette users will either turn to the black market to obtain untested potential dangerous alternatives or revert back to smoking. Australia only permits the use of e-cigarettes with a prescription and prohibits the use of disposable devices, but this has resulted in a thriving black market that has emerged to meet the demand for e-cigarettes, especially disposable devices.

John Dunn said, “Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, one of the leading authorities on reducing tobacco harm worldwide, has stated that the ‘flawed’ restrictions on e-cigarettes in the country have resulted in a rampant black market operated by criminal gangs, with 92% of e-cigarette users in the country obtaining them through illegal channels.”

In the UK, it has been proven that disposable devices are highly effective in encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, which are a significantly lower-risk alternative to combustible cigarettes. These devices are affordable, convenient, and user-friendly, making them essential factors in facilitating smokers’ initial transition to e-cigarettes.

The French Prime Minister has defended the proposed ban, arguing that these restrictions serve as a gateway for young people to start smoking. However, respectfully, I think she has been misled.

John Dunne suggested that just last month, the charitable organization “Action on Smoking and Health” (ASH) released a report that provides evidence proving that e-cigarettes are neither as harmful as smoking nor addictive, and are not recognized as a legitimate means of smoking.

John Dunn provides data: The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that smoking rates in the UK are at their lowest point on record (13.3%). The ONS states that e-cigarettes have played a “significant role” in reducing smoking rates.

John Dunn has expressed the view that what the UK currently needs is stricter enforcement of existing e-cigarette laws rather than a ban. “There is a problem with young people using e-cigarettes, but the answer is not to prohibit a product that clearly helps adults quit smoking. Instead, the UK needs to enforce and tighten existing laws so that no retailer is able to sell these age-restricted adult products to children.

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