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France Looking to Ban Online Cigarette Sales


We reported last month that as part of the French government’s smoking crackdown, trial smoking bans have been introduced into several Paris parks. Now, as part of the same wave of reforms, the French government is looking to make it illegal for smokers in France to buy cheap cigarettes online.

Selling cigarettes online in France has been illegal for some time, but that hasn’t stopped French smokers buying their cigarettes on the internet historically. There are numerous online retailers, which are based in Ireland where taxes are often significantly lower than the rest of Europe.

These online retailers have allowed French smokers to purchase cigarettes at reduced prices and the French government want it to stop. Not only do cheap, readily available online cigarettes damage the health of the people who smoke them but they also cost the French government a huge amount in lost taxes. In fact, Philip Morris International estimates that France loses around €400 million per year due to online foreign purchases.

Other initiatives by the French government to curb its country’s smoking habits have included banning smoking in cars that are also carrying children; removing all cigarette branding and raising prices. All measures which regular smokers dislike.

The French government’s firm standpoint on smoking is testament to its commitment to reducing smoking related deaths in the country; something which will ensure its top-quality healthcare services remain fully accessible going forward.