Following his pledge to establish “the first tobacco-free generation” by the year 2032, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that smoking will be prohibited on all beaches, as well as in public parks, forests, and in close proximity to schools.
There are currently 7,200 tobacco-free locations in France, one of which is Nice, which is located on the French Riviera. Nice was the first city in France to develop a beach that does not allow smoking in 2012, with the agreement of France’s League Against Cancer.
With the announcement that the central government will implement a statewide ban on smoking, the government stated that smoke-free areas would no longer be decided by individual local authorities. The statement that Rousseau made was as follows: “We are now shifting the responsibility and establishing a principle which will become the rule.”
Taxes on cigarettes are going to be raised, and the price of a pack of twenty cigarettes, which is currently around €11 (£9.50), will grow to €12 by the year 2025 and €13 the year after that.
Rousseau stated that “puffs,” which are disposable electronic cigarettes that are used just once and are discarded after use, were popular among young people. However, Rousseau also stated that these cigarettes had a significant influence on both health as well as the environment.
Following the implementation of a smoking ban in French bars and restaurants in 2008, which was a later implementation than in Britain, Spain, or Italy, polls revealed that the French public is generally in favor of the ban.
Tobacco continues to be the cause of 75,000 fatalities that could have been avoided in France each year, and the French police are dealing with what the government has referred to as a “explosion” in the number of illegal cigarettes.
Emmanuel Grégoire, the deputy mayor of Paris, who is on the left, stated that the city had been ahead of the government in establishing hundreds of smoke-free zones throughout the city. These locations included public playgrounds as well as areas outside of schools, creches, and sports centers.
There have been dozens of cities in France that have declared non-smoking beach areas in recent years. Saint-Laurent-du-Var, which is located on the Côte d’Azur, Saint-Malo, and Biarritz are among the towns that have passed this legislation. In addition, there is a growing worry regarding the impact that cigarette butts left on beaches have on the ecosystem. This is the second most significant environmental litter problem in coastal areas, behind plastic bottles.
In Cannes, where the mayor, David Lisnard, a prominent figure on the right, has questioned the government’s decision to prohibit smoking on beaches, two small sections of the city’s beaches have been declared as cigarette-free zones. On X, he wrote, “A great number of people will cheer. In addition, he stated that he believed there were already sufficient limitations placed on freedoms. He then inquired about who was going to make sure that the prohibition was adhered to, implying that it might be the responsibility of mayors.
According to the French public health ministry, there were about 12 million people in France who smoked cigarettes on a regular basis in 2017. Nearly 32% of people between ages of 18 and 75 admitted to smoking, and 25 percent of those people claimed they smoked on a regular basis.