Price increase, smoking ban at the beach… What the government’s anti-smoking plan contains

Restaurants, cafes, hospitals, public transport and even schools since 2007 or 2008… but also soon beaches, green spaces, forests and around schools. The government intends reduce the number of smokers in France, by expanding the list of places where lighting a cigarette is prohibited but also by continuing to increase the price of the pack. These two measures are the basis of the new national tobacco control program for the years 2023 to 2027, unveiled this Tuesday morning by the Minister of Health, Aurélien Rousseau.

According to the latest study by Public Health France, published on May 31, a quarter of French adults smoke daily. This share of the population was stable around 30% until 2016, before falling by five points and then remaining around 25% since Covid. “Cigarettes may have been perceived as a tool to manage stress or overcome everyday difficulties”, particularly among disadvantaged categories, Anne Pasquereau, head of studies and research at the addictions unit, told us at the time. of Public Health France.

With 75,000 deaths per year, tobacco represents “the leading cause of avoidable mortality” and “a scourge of public health”, justified Aurélien Rousseau.

A package at 13 euros in 2026

Determined to bring back the curve, the government has therefore decided to make more places “non-smoking”. Many beaches were already open in summer, by municipal decree, but all will now be open all year round. Smoking will also be prohibited in all public gardens, in forests and around schools (the precise perimeter will be established locally by town halls and prefectures). These measures will be taken by decree, “in the first quarter” of 2024.

The government also intends to “hit” the wallet, continuing the strategy started several years ago. The average price of a packet of cigarettes should reach 12 euros in 2025 then “13 euros in 2026”, indicated Aurélien Rousseau. “It has been shown on numerous occasions that the increase in the price of a packet of tobacco had a direct impact and was effective,” according to Loïc Josseran, president of Alliance Against Tobacco.

To prevent smokers from switching to other types of products, the government also plans to ban Puff, these ready-to-use disposable electronic cigarettes.

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