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France to ban smoking on beaches and close to schools


France, Royan, 2023-11-17. View of a smoker in a street during a break from work. (Photograph by Pauline PAUGET / Hans Lucas.)

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(AFP) – The French government said on Tuesday it would ban smoking on all the country’s beaches, in public parks and forests and near schools.

“From now on, no-smoking areas will be the norm,” Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau told reporters at a presentation of the government’s anti-smoking programme.

He said there were already 7,200 tobacco-free areas in France but they had been mostly designated by local authorities, not the central government.

“We are now shifting the responsibility and establishing a principle which will become the rule,” Rousseau said.

Taxes on cigarettes will be hiked, Rousseau also said, with a pack of 20, currently at around 11 euros ($12), rising to 12 euros by 2025 and 13 euros the following year.

The government was also planning to ban so-called “puffs”, single-use disposable e-cigarettes that are particularly popular among young people, he said.

The government aims to create “the first tobacco-free generation by 2032”, as President Emmanuel Macron had promised, Rousseau said.

© Agence France-Presse





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