France unveiled a raft of new measures to crackdown on tobacco and electronic cigarettes on Thursday including a ban on lighting up in cars where young children are present and forbidding e-cigs in certain public places.
New figures being published in France show that passive smoking is found responsible for the death of 73,000 people. The health care bill currently being debated before the National Assembly, contains the ban on smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 12.
A “measure of common sense,” according to Health Minister, Marisol Touraine, “because the concentration of fine particles in the rear seat of the vehicle is ten times higher in the car of a smoker than that of a non smoker. This concentration is more than three times greater than the average threshold recommended by the World Health Organisation “. And that passive smoking can result in children increased risk of respiratory problems, allergies, ear infections and asthma. The purpose of the text is to de-normalize smoking cigarettes in the eyes of the young.
“This is stupid”
But it is clear that this measure, already applied by Canada and the United States, is not unanimous in the National Assembly. The UMP said they see this as an attack on individual freedoms. Eric de Caumont, president of the Association of Automotive lawyers, said “This is stupid. Why order that a child under 12 years is worthy of being protected by law, and that 13 years is not? Moreover, what is to ban drivers from smoking in the presence of a child in their car while they can do at home? ”
Pierre Chasseray, managing director of the association 40 million motorists, was less critical, but still believes that it “is a symbol and it is primarily a prevention message.” According to him, few motorists driving smoke in the presence of their children.
No smoking in front of children in the car: “Our politicians want us like children.
If ever this measure passes and is finally applied, one thing is certain according to the president of the Bar Association: it will give rise to disputes. “We’ll have fun in the courts highlighting the inconsistency of the text,” he promises.