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France to ban smoking on beaches and close to schools

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The French government said on Tuesday it would ban smoking on all the country's beaches, in public parks and forests and near schools.

"From now on, no-smoking areas will be the norm," Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau told reporters at a presentation of the government's anti-smoking program.

He said there were already 7,200 tobacco-free areas in France but they had been mostly designated by , not the central government.

"We are now shifting the responsibility and establishing a principle which will become the rule," Rousseau said.

Taxes on cigarettes will be hiked, Rousseau also said, with a pack of 20, currently at around 11 euros ($12), rising to 12 euros by 2025 and 13 euros the following year.

The government was also planning to ban so-called "puffs", disposable e-cigarettes that are particularly popular among young people, he said.

The government aims to create "the first tobacco-free generation by 2032", as President Emmanuel Macron had promised, Rousseau said.

© 2023 AFP

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