The electronic cigarettes are not classified as a conventional smoking method and, therefore, are not subject to the current tobacco regulations. This has been established by the Paris Supreme Court rejecting the motion presented by the National Confederation of French Tobacconist (CNBF) on behalf of two tobacconists who tried to obstruct a e-cigarette brand. In their motion they requested the ban on publicity and, above all, the sale of the e-cigarettes through outlets in the proximity of their shops in Caen and Paris.
France make a stand to the contradictory requests of the tobacconists in trying to exclusively protect their economic interests, by hindering the development of a fundamental product against addiction to tobacco. The motion, instigated by the powerful tobacco lobby, has put at risk thousands of jobs created in the research, production, development and sale of the e-cigarettes.
The Supreme court has clarified some fundamental points. Firstly that the e-cigarette is not subject to customs duties as applied to tobacco products. Secondly, the Court has embraced the findings of the French Office Fight Against Smoking, which state that “ no European country has classified the e-cigarette as a derivative of tobacco”
The economic gain in this dispute is considerable. According to a report by OFDT (Observatoire Francais des Drogues et des Toxicomanies) in 2013, there were 1 million smokers of e-cigarettes in France, generating an income of about 100million euros, with a 15% monthly increase.
The most important advantage linked to the commercial expansion of the e-cigarette is the decrease in the number of heavy smokers who have either quitted smoking or cut down on conventional cigarettes, drastically reducing the risk of illnesses directly linked to smoking, saving the national health substantial sums of money