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Flashy cigarettes packages will all become neutral in France.
Flashy cigarettes packages will all become neutral in France.

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.

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Economy

Europe's Winter Energy Crisis Has Already Begun

in the face of Russia's stranglehold over supplies, the European Commission has proposed support packages and price caps. But across Europe, fears about the cost of living are spreading – and with it, doubts about support for Ukraine.

Protesters on Thursday in the German state of Thuringia carried Russian flags and signs: 'First our country! Life must be affordable.'

Martin Schutt/dpa via ZUMA
Stefanie Bolzen, Philipp Fritz, Virginia Kirst, Martina Meister, Mandoline Rutkowski, Stefan Schocher, Claus, Christian Malzahn and Nikolaus Doll

-Analysis-

In her State of the Union address on September 14, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, issued an urgent appeal for solidarity between EU member states in tackling the energy crisis, and towards Ukraine. Von der Leyen need only look out her window to see that tensions are growing in capital cities across Europe due to the sharp rise in energy prices.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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In the Czech Republic, people are already taking to the streets, while opposition politicians elsewhere are looking to score points — and some countries' support for Ukraine may start to buckle.

With winter approaching, Europe is facing a true test of both its mettle, and imagination.

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