France will ban electronic cigarette smoking in public places by imposing the same curbs enforced since 2007 to combat tobacco smoking, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Friday.
Amid mounting global concern over the public health implications of so-called e-cigarettes, Touraine said they faced the same fate as traditional ones: a ban on smoking in public spaces and sales to minors and a blackout on media advertising.
In a country where the pungent waft of Gaulloises and Gitanes once seemed an unassailable part of cafe culture, smokers have long been banished to outdoor terrace seats.
The near-odorless electronic alternative—battery-driven devices that allow users inhale odorless nicotine-laced vapor rather than smoke—are gaining ground in no-go zones such as bars, cafes, trains, waiting rooms and offices.
(Hat tip to Alan Pyke)