Saturday 21 April 2018

France considers banning Gauloises and Gitanes cigarettes for being 'too glamorous'

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Actress and singer Jane Birkin shopping with her husband, singer and film director Serge Gainsbourg as he smokes a heavy-duty "dark" cigarette favoured by generations of French smokers. (AFP/Getty Images)

Meadhbh McGrath

Some of France’s most iconic cigarette brands could be facing a ban because they are seen to glamourise smoking.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine is considering a new public health law to ban the brands, which have been sold since 1910, because of their association with youth and glamour.

Le Figaro reported that the ban follows a European directive that states tobacco products “must not include any element that contributes to the promotion of tobacco or give an erroneous impression of certain characteristics”.

It noted that Ms Touraine is targeting brands which imply the smoker is “masculine, feminine, slim or successful”.

Actress and singer Jane Birkin shopping with her husband, singer and film director Serge Gainsbourg as he smokes a heavy-duty
Actress and singer Jane Birkin shopping with her husband, singer and film director Serge Gainsbourg as he smokes a heavy-duty "dark" cigarette favoured by generations of French smokers. (AFP/Getty Images)

Gitanes and Gauloises are renowned as the favoured cigarettes of musicians and philosophers including Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Other brands threatened by a ban on sales include Lucky Strike, Marlboro Gold, Vogue and Fortuna.

A number of prominent cigarette companies have since reached out to the French prime minister to express their concerns and called for an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.

The new health code could be published by the end of the month, and the ban could be implemented by autumn.

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