France. Smoking: neutral package passed by the Assembly after a hot debate. The National Assembly voted Friday measurements Health bill against smoking, particularly neutral pack of cigarettes opposed by industry and tobacconists, whose protests were very strongly relayed during the meeting by the UMP. In an often stormy atmosphere, MEPs approved after several hours of debate, the principle of introducing from May 2016 packets of cigarettes neutral, all having the same shape, same size, same color and the same typography without any logo. The brand name, however, will continue to appear on small packages.
These neutral packages were introduced for the first time in Australia in late 2012. Ireland has voted in February to impose a law, recently followed by the United Kingdom.
"We know that young people and women are paying attention to packaging," explained the Health Minister Marisol Touraine, waving an Australian package in the Chamber.
"In Australia the results are encouraging. The number of smokers has decreased by 3% in a year, the entry age in tobacco declined and support for the measure has doubled in the opinion," a-t- she pleaded. "Tobacco is 73,000 deaths per year in France," she recalled.
The measure has sparked an outcry among tobacco companies that threaten legal action, and tobacco shops that lead an awareness campaign, with a lot of posters proclaiming "yes prevention, not punishment." The UMP and IDU members, including some doctors, have succeeded to denounce the fact that France goes further than the European legislation requiring health warnings on 65% of the area on both sides of the packages as of May 20, 2016. This will feed in their "border smuggling" to the detriment of tobacconists "attacked" by the government, according to Olivier Marleix UMP. "The tobacconists feel betrayed, cancer is not their problem," added the UMP Elie Aboud.
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Limit youth smoking
The debate was rich in strong surges from the UMP. "The next step is the bottle of wine neutral" stormed Bernard Accoyer. "I'm afraid of society we want to offer us, a world without tobacco, without large without lean", launched Arnaud Robinet. Nicolas Dhuicq, psychiatrist by profession, even said that the "Puritan world" anti-smoking entailed the youth to "violent epics in the Middle East."
The president of the PS group Bruno Le Roux regretted the attention of Mr. Dhuicq that "parliamentary immunity an obstacle to automatic internment procedures." PS Jean-Louis Touraine, Professor of Medicine, quoted former UMP deputy Yves Bur who chairs the Alliance against tobacco and said his former band "covers only the amendments drafted by the Confederation of tobacconists."
The oncologist Michèle Delaunay, who wants to get to "the tobacco leaves in a decade", accused the UMP to see in tobacconists that "election officials" while "their social role should be expanded." To limit entry in youth smoking, MEPs also reinforced the ban on the sale of tobacco to minors. As for the sale of alcohol, tobacconist will require the client to establish proof of age.
In order to limit the exposure of minors to passive smoking, they expanded, adopting unexpectedly IDUs amendment against the Government's view, the ban on smoking in cars carrying under 18 while the text adopted committee was only for children under 12 years. They also voted an environmentalist amendment to prohibit the sale of "cigarette capsules", a new popular product adolescents. They banned the installation of a tobacco shop around a school within a distance "a threshold set by decree of the Council of State." MEPs approved measures of transparency on lobbying of the tobacco industry, and expanded the ban on sponsorship by tobacco companies.