“An escape route”: addictologists fear that electronic cigarettes will pay the price of the anti-smoking plan

Yasmina Kattou / Photo credit: Artur Widak / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP

12 euros in 2025, 13 euros in 2026… The price of a pack of cigarettes will continue to increase in France, as part of a new anti-smoking plan presented this Tuesday by the Minister of Health, Aurélien Rousseau. Already in force in 73 departments, the ban on smoking in certain public places, such as forests, beaches or around schools, will also be extended to the entire country.

But electronic cigarettes are also in the State’s sights. With this new plan, electronic cigarette products will now have a neutral package, without logos or brands like traditional cigarettes. The Ministry of Health also wants to limit the flavors available for purchase.

Complicating the lives of vapers, a “regrettable” choice

However, for Jean-Pierre Couteron, addictologist, maintaining a varied palette of aromas for vaping liquids is essential. “The aromas have the function of making vaping bearable because as such, it is not as pleasant as that,” he explains to Europe 1.

“It is important to worry about the comfort of the user. If we complicate the life of the vaper, that would be regrettable,” adds the specialist. Especially since the doctor recalls that vaping is one of the key tools to help quit smoking.

A ban on overly childish tastes?

In an electronic cigarette, “no tobacco, no combustion. So that’s still two major disadvantages of cigarettes less. Nicotine alone is better. Vaping is an escape route for people who are stuck in smoking addiction and who cannot escape by other means. We must never block the emergency doors”, warns Jean-Pierre Couteron.

The doctor, however, agrees that a ban should be put in place on overly childish tastes such as cotton candy, which could be a gateway for young people to smoking.

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