At a press conference on Sunday, May 28, the Minister of Health said that the issue of prescriptionable and reimbursable e-cigarettes is currently being discussed.
Are we on the verge of a major breakthrough in the fight against smoking in France?
Will e-cigarettes soon be recognized as a smoking cessation tool in France? This is the question that has arisen in the wake of the new intervention of the Minister of Health, François Braun, who has been very active in the main media for several weeks. As part of the program of the Grand Jury (RTL, LeFigaro, LCI), the man answered a series of questions for an hour, which included several questions about addiction, and in particular about smoking.
On this subject, the minister began by recalling his desire to ban Puffs, small disposable e-cigarettes that are particularly popular with young people. He said he “asked scientists” and “checked the bibliography (…) science” that it “actually proves that [Puffs] cause young people to smoke.”
“For me, we must ban [them]. Now, I will discuss this issue with the MPs,” he added.
The most innovative aspect of the minister’s speech was what he said next. The news reporter mistakenly thought François Braun wanted to prescribe puffs to a pharmacist, to which Mr. Braun replied:
“No, it won’t be puffs. It’s not going to be one of those colorful products. It’s going to be nicotine replacement, and there are these e-cigarettes that, yes, it allows you to gradually reduce your nicotine consumption and quit.
A novelty that would provide a refund for certain personal vaporizers? Not sure, although the minister said it was necessary to ask the question.
“I can’t give you an answer, but yes, it’s on the table in the context of the next tobacco plan.”
So, will e-cigarettes soon be recognized as a nicotine substitute, like patches and other chewing gums? Will e-cigarettes one day be prescribed in France? It’s hard to say.
Words that ask questions
If the words of the Minister of Health indicate that the government is indeed considering new measures for e-cigarettes, there are still many gray areas. If vaporizers can be prescribed in pharmacies, are all the models we can find on the market? Would new products need to be created to meet specific criteria? Will e-cigarettes stay on the counters of specialty stores at the same time?
As for FrançoisBraun’s claim about the puff gateway effect, how does he explain that puffs cause young people to smoke, other than the many scientific studies that show that they simply do not exist? E-cigarettes?
Perhaps only a new clarification from the Minister will answer these questions in the near future.
The entire program can be found in a video on the TF1Info website. The minister’s statement on female e-cigarette users begins at minute 21.