France already has a ban in place covering certain public places, preventing e-cig users from using their devices in those areas. Now the health authority has recommended other public places should also be included in the ban.

The ban currently covers all areas where children might be present. People are also unable to vape on public transport, or in workplaces that are enclosed. Now the recommendations from the High Council for Public Health (HCSP) suggests that restaurants, nightclubs and cafes should also be added to the list of locations included in the ban.

Their main concern seems to be that vaping could encourage some people to smoke. Additionally, they’re concerned about passive smoking, i.e. people who don’t vape or smoke might inhale vapours from people who do vape in public.

According to Le Figaro, the Interprofessional Federation of Vape (known by the quirky name of FIVAPE) has suggested that an extension of the current ban risks putting over the message that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking. Since lots of people who vape were previously smokers, it is easy to see how sending this message across could stop people switching to vaping to help them quit.

It would certainly appear that some people in HCSP are convinced that vaping leads people to smoke. However, that hasn’t been our experience. There are plenty of stories of smokers who switch to vaping to help them quit – often with great success. But how many stories have you heard of where a non-smoker has taken up vaping – much less that they’ve then gone on to start smoking?

We’ve never heard of this happening. While it’s a possibility – just like many things in life – we can’t see it happening en masse. What are your thoughts on this new proposal in France?

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