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French Sceptical About the Effectiveness of Neutral Tobacco Package

French Sceptical about neutral tobacco packaging
According to a Harris Interactive poll, 74% of French are skeptical about the effectiveness of neutral pack of cigarettes. | Photo: AFP

According to a Harris Interactive poll, 74% of French are sceptical about the effectiveness of neutral packaging of cigarettes.

 A majority of French (74%) are sceptical about the effectiveness of neutral packaging  of cigarettes to reduce the number of smokers in France, according to a Harris Interactive poll released today, Thursday for the Confederation of tobacconists.

Asked about the effectiveness of measures to be put in place to stop smoking, 40% believe that the neutral packet will “not at all” be efficient, 34% that it will ‘not very efficient “, while only 25% believe that it will be truly be effective at cutting smoking.

However, they are 72% effective in judging the development of prevention for children to encourage them not to start smoking and 70% to  strengthening education methods to stop smoking.  Only 52% also consider tax increases  an effective way to deter people from smoking.

Rising counterfeits

When asked about the possible consequences of the introduction of neutral packages in France, 83% of French believe that it will encourage the production of counterfeit cigarettes because of the lack of differentiators on packages.

Under the Health Bill, MEPs adopted on the 3rd April, the introduction from May 2016 cigarette packs must be without any logo, all having the same shape, same size, same color and even typography. The only distinction will remain the name of the brand, which will continue to appear but in small print.

The Social Affairs Committee of the Senate will consider in turn the text on July 22, when tobacconists plan to mobilize.

“We are not opposed to a public health policy but we ask to be treated like other tobacco distributors in Europe” , told AFP Pascal Montredon, president of the Confederation of tobacconists, which fears a rising market parallel and an increase in tobacco office closures with the arrival of neutral package.

The Confederation ask senators to reject this provision and to apply instead the EU directive on tobacco products, an increase in the size of health warnings.

The survey was conducted online from June 2 to 4 on a sample of 963 people representative of French people aged 18 and over, by the quota method.

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