The ban is part of a nationwide campaign supporting French President Emmanuel Macron’s ambitious plan to erase one behaviour by 2032 - smoking.
In France, cigarettes have been a signifier of national identity for decades, resulting in significantly higher rates of smoking compared to other countries.
Macron wants to change this and have the “first tobacco-free generation” by 2032, which involves anti-tobacco campaigns that will ban smoking in all public spaces, including beaches, public parks and forests.
French Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau said tobacco products caused 75,000 avoidable deaths every year in France, AP reported.
France already has more than 7000 tobacco-free areas across the country, however, these are currently enforced by local authorities, as opposed to national legislation, which Rousseau said the Government plans to introduce next year.
“Beaches, parks, around schools -– lots of places had started these experiments and now, it’s true, we’re heading to a general rule to show our determination.
“From now on, no-smoking areas will be the norm.”
The Government is yet to release exact details about the ban but single-use disposable e-cigarettes will be included in the list of banned tobacco products and reports suggest people who break the rules will be fined.
France isn’t the only European country to crack down on smoking and vaping. On December 23, 2021, Spain became the first country in Europe to ban smoking on all of its beaches, in response to a public petition.
The main issue wasn’t necessarily the smoke but the cigarette butts that were littered along beaches in popular spots such as Majorca, Ibiza, and Menorca.
If you do choose the light up in these spots, you won’t be fined but you will be judged harshly by those around you. Instead of making rule-breakers pay, Spanish authorities said they instead want to appeal to people’s sense of “social responsibility”.
New Zealand has also gained attention for its approach to smoking after the Government said it would repeal smoke-free laws that would have made Aotearoa the world’s first country to ban smoking for the next generation.