Is France likely to Ban the Use of Electronic Cigarettes in Public Places?

The research team headed by Bertrand Dautzenberg who is a pneumology professor as well as the president, Office for Tobacco Prevention (OFT) at France also advised that e-cigarettes should be prohibited for use by pregnant women and any person below the age of 18 years. French researchers have recommended prohibition on vaping (inhaling vapours from e-cigarettes) in public places like restaurants. The suggestions have been made in a report supported by the government.

E-cigarettes are devices which use a battery, cartridge and atomiser to produce a nicotine containing vapour which the user inhales. Electronic cigarettes look deceptively similar to tobacco cigarettes and use of the power from a battery to generate vapours and an LED light to simulate the burning end of a cigarette and hence do not produce any smoke or ash.

A study put forth at the annual meeting of European Respiratory Society in Vienna, by researchers based at the Athens University states that use of e-cigarettes can be damaging to the lungs. It contradicts the findings of earlier studies which suggested that these gadgets, designed to help smokers to quit, are harmless.

Dautzenberg and his team stated that the information about these devices was increasing but acknowledged that some areas still required more study. He added that it would not be prudent to wait for scientific studies to be undertaken before making recommendations.

According to the website of the newspaper Le Monde, the report which was supported by the Directorate General for Health under the Health Ministry, has been posted on the website of OFT and will be placed before to Marisol Touraine, Minister for Health in France.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes include Vapor Corp. a company based in Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Lorillard Inc., a manufacturer of tobacco cigarettes based in Greensboro, North Carolina ventured into the production of e-cigarettes with its acquisition of Blu Ecigs through a $135 million cash deal in April 2012.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association estimates that there are more than 3.5 million users in America alone.

The US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has not imposed any restrictions on the manufacture and testing of e-cigarettes.