PARIS — Bad news for the tobacco industry and smokers in France. Health Minister Marisol Touraine will announce strict new tobacco control measure next month that are expected to ban any branding on cigarette packs.
The French daily Le Figaro reports that the overall effect of the new measures will be as radical as the original 1991 Évin law that banned the advertising of cigarettes, as well as the 2007 decree ending smoking in public spaces.
This measure, expected to be unveiled June 17, will provide for the setting up of neutral, or generic, cigarette packages. Le Figaro reports that each packet will have the same color and the brand names will be printed according to a unique model: same font, size and color for Marlboro, Camel or Lucky Strike. Distinctive logos, which were one of the last marketing tools for the tobacco companies, will also be banned.
The idea of the generic packaging comes from Australia, where in December 2012, the government introduced generic olive green packages. But there is not doubt that in France, as it happened in Australia, the tobacco companies will use all legal means available to counteract this measure.