France Advocates E-cigarettes as Nicotine Substitutes

E-cigarettes as Nicotine Substitutes

The battle against nicotine addiction has seen a new development in recent times. François Braun, the Health Minister of France, has put forward a revolutionary proposal. He plans to grant pharmacists the authority to prescribe e-cigarettes as a means of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This move aims to provide a safer alternative for smokers and help them kick the habit.

Braun’s plan goes beyond promoting healthier alternatives. It takes a firm stance against a specific type of e-cigarette, commonly known as ‘puffs’. These disposable vapes have been under scrutiny for their lack of contribution to smoking cessation. The Health Minister adamantly believes that “these do not help quit smoking at all.”

The disposable vapes, known as ‘puffs’, are a hit among the youth. However, Braun’s reservations about them are clear. He argues, “These don’t help in any way to quit smoking.” This sentiment has been echoed on Sunday, May 28th, on RTL. This opposition to puffs is expected to lead to a potential ban, with some deputies eager to implement this after the summer break.

On the other side of the spectrum, Braun supports the use of e-cigarettes as nicotine substitutes. “Nicotine replacements with e-cigarettes allow gradually reducing nicotine consumption and quitting smoking,” he asserts. This approach excludes the puffs, the “colorful products” that “lead young people towards tobacco,” according to Braun.

When confronted with the question of reimbursement for e-cigarette prescriptions, Braun confirmed that the topic is currently under discussion as part of the government’s next anti-smoking plan for 2023-2028. Braun also expressed a desire to impose taxes on all tobacco products, including heated and chewing tobacco, similar to cigarette packs.

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Matthew Ma