This is a fact recognized by health authorities, and the tobacco industry - which has widely diversified in this sector - never misses an opportunity to point out: electronic cigarettes contribute to smoking cessation. Indeed, according to the Academy of Medicine, what is also called “vape” “helps to stop and reduce tobacco consumption” causes many cancers, while the national public health agency , Public Health France, considers that vaping “can be considered as an aid to smoking cessation for smokers wishing to stop their tobacco consumption”.
If, last June, François Braun, then Minister of Health, procrastinated on the subject, certain countries, such as Great Britain, have taken the plunge and gone so far as to allow the reimbursement of electronic cigarettes by Social Security , because it would allow the healthcare system to make valuable savings in the treatment of cancers. Adorned with the virtue of public health and making it possible to avoid the throwing of some 7.7 billion “paper” butts (12% of cigarette consumption) into French nature, vaping has some arguments to seduce… Alas, since about two years, a new product has tarnished the reputation of its producers: the single-use vape, the “puffs”.
Unlike their more expensive rechargeable counterparts, many of these plastic “e-cigs” are thrown on the ground like cigarette butts by their users. A phenomenon particularly visible this summer on the beaches. “This is a very recent problem. We are starting to find them around rivers and on beaches. It’s an emerging subject, particularly sensitive to strikes located in urban areas,” explains Clément Moreno, project manager at Surfrider Foundation Europe, an association recognized as being of public utility, which notably organizes waste collections on beaches.
The issue of managing litter from tobacco is particularly sensitive by the sea, since it constitutes the second type of waste collected on the beaches (27%) behind non-definable plastic fragments (31%), according to the collections carried out each year by Surfrider Foundation throughout Europe…
Very popular with young people with their sweet flavors and colorful packaging - although sales are prohibited to those under 18 - these "puffs", alloys of different plastic materials, therefore constitute an embarrassing subject for the tobacco industry where this product is not unanimous.
“We want to preserve the image of vaping, a product exclusively intended for adult smokers, because it is an effective tool used to quit tobacco. However, single-use products, when these are marketed without compliance with the regulations in force, namely the absolute ban on sale and promotion to minors, or by the pollution that they can generate without compensation by the "membership in an eco-organization, harm this message", it is estimated within the professional federation France Vapotage, which to date only includes manufacturers marketing these products only at the margins of their still dominated activities. through the sale of tobacco.
Already banned in New Caledonia, for which "puffs" "represent an immediate and very long-term danger for the environment", the latter should soon be banned in France as part of the national plan to combat smoking, a announced at the beginning of September Élisabeth Borne. A transpartisan bill providing for this measure, co-signed by around sixty deputies, was already on the table in the National Assembly. Thus, barring contraband, the beaches could also be, through weaning, quickly rid of this pollution.
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