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France to ban branding from cigarette packets, e-cigarettes in public

media Not in public, please - an e-cigarette smoker gettyimages

France is set to ban e-cigarettes in public spaces and company logos from tobacco packaging, according to leaked plans for tough new legislation on smoking published the day before World No Tobacco Day.

A bill to be proposed by Health Minister Marisol Touraine would ban all company branding and colour from cigarette packs, as Australia has done since 2012, Le Figaro newspaper revealed on Friday.

The intent is to lessen the appeal of smoking to younger people by eliminating the cachet attached to certain brand names and well-known symbols

The proposed law will also apply the country’s public smoking ban to the use of electronic cigarettes.

And it will give smokers the right to organise and seek collective damages from tobacco companies, in legal actions similar to class action lawsuits in the United States.

While the law is likely to be cheered by anti-smoking advocates, it is expected to meet some powerful foes – the tobacco lobby, as well as e-cigarette proponents, as that market has been booming

Some 13 million people in France smoke – about 73,000 die of smoking-related ailments each year.

The legislation is expected to be presented to parliament on 17 June.

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