The French government is currently discussing a potential prohibition on one-time use electronic cigarettes, which are favored by young people for their sugary flavors and are being examined as a new contributor to litter.
The restriction, backed by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau, is intended to safeguard the well-being of young people and reduce the ecological consequences of the growing use of single-use items referred to as “puffs.”
The measure was scheduled for a vote in the National Assembly on Monday evening. If approved, it would then be sent to the Senate and could potentially take effect by September 2024.
Reworded: Portable electronic cigarettes are compact devices powered by batteries that release vaporized nicotine infused with different flavors. Although they do not contain tobacco, a significant number contain nicotine, a hazardous substance recognized for its addictive qualities.
Marion Catellin, the head of the Alliance Against Tobacco, informed The Associated Press that disposable e-cigarettes are composed of plastic and contain a lithium battery, as well as other harmful substances like cobalt and bromine. Additionally, the pods used in these e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly toxic substance. Due to their negative impact on the environment, Catellin believes that single-use e-cigarettes should be prohibited.
Disposable e-cigarettes differ from reusable vaping devices in that they are not designed to be refilled or recharged. Their small, non-rechargeable lithium batteries often end up in landfills.
Lawmakers are becoming concerned about the increasing appeal of these products among adolescents, as they feature tangy or fruity flavors and eye-catching designs.
This legislation is a reflection of a larger pattern. Other countries such as the UK, Ireland, and Germany are also contemplating similar actions. Meanwhile, New Zealand and Australia have already put limitations into effect. In New Zealand, these restrictions involve enforcing lower nicotine levels and placing limitations on the proximity of vape shops to schools.
The increase in use of disposable e-cigarettes in the U.S. market, mostly imported from China, after the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on flavored reusable e-cigarettes such as Juul in 2020, highlights the larger issue. The limitations on flavors did not extend to disposable options, leading to a surge in their availability after the ban was implemented.
Journalist Alex Turnbull from the Associated Press contributed to the report from Paris.