France to ban smoking on beaches as it seeks to avoid 75,000 tobacco-related deaths per year

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An ashtray with cigarette butts at the edge of the beach, in Saint Jean de Luz, southwestern France, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. France's government plans to ban smoking on all beaches, in public parks, forests and some other public areas. The measures are part of a national anti-tobacco plan presented by the health minister, who says tobacco products cause 75,000 avoidable deaths a year in France. (AP Photo Bob Edme)

PARIS – France will ban smoking on all beaches, in public parks, forests and some other public areas as part of a national anti-tobacco plan presented by the health minister on Tuesday.

Tobacco products cause 75,000 avoidable deaths a year in France, Minister of Health and Prevention Aurélien Rousseau said on BFM television. The government will introduce legislation at the start of next year to enlarge the scope of places where fines can be levied for smoking, he said.

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“Beaches, parks, around schools -– lots of places had started these experiments and now, it’s true, we’re heading to a general rule to show our determination,” he said.

Legislators also intend to outlaw single-use disposable e-cigarettes, with an initial vote on a draft law to ban them expected in the National Assembly next month.