Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Too Cool

The news was enough to have French smokers choking on their morning cigarette: France is considering banning some tobacco brands because they are just too cool.

Among those threatened are Gitanes and Gauloises, beloved of Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Serge Gainsbourg, who was said to puff through five packets of filterless Gitanes a day.

The ban, which could also cover the Lucky Strike, Marlboro Gold, Vogue and Fortuna brands, is the logical conclusion of a new public health law – based on a European directive – which stipulates tobacco products “must not include any element that contributes to the promotion of tobacco or give an erroneous impression of certain characteristics”.

Reporting the ban, Le Figaro said that while the directive was “relatively vague”, it clearly covered anything suggesting “masculinity or femininity, physical slimness, youth or sociability”. (...)

In May, France ordered all cigarette manufacturers to create neutral packaging. The bill means that from November, French shops can only sell the new packets that are of a uniform size and colour and have the brand name in a small uniform font.

The new packs are part of a hotly disputed health reform bill voted through by French MPs in 2014 which also tackles eating disorders, sunbed use and binge drinking. An attempt to scrap the neutral cigarette package clause failed by just two votes in November 2015.

by Kim Willsher, The Guardian |  Read more:
Image: Sonny Meddle/Rex/Shutterstock