Smoking ban for Paris parks to be tested
A ban on smoking in parks will be tested in Paris as part of a major French plan to curb tobacco addiction. If proved popular, the trial ban in one city park could extend to all common green spaces and playgrounds in the future.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced the pilot program on Sunday and said it was designed to teach the public about addictions.
While she did not disclose which park will be used as a guinea pig, French daily Le Parisien reported that it will kick off in the 14th arrondissement.
The announcement comes after Health Minister Marisol Touraine said she would like to see lighting up banned on all beaches, public parks and pavements outside of schools.
Hidalgo said that Paris’ fleet of street sweepers clean up 350 tonnes of cigarette butts each year, but more pressing is smoking’s effect on public health.
Each day, 200 French people die from smoking-related diseases, or 73,000 deaths a year.
Earlier this year, French President Francois Hollande announced an investment of 1.5 billion euros to extend access to cancer treatment over the next five years.
Prevention and anti-smoking efforts are central to the plan, with health officials attributing more than 30 per cent of deaths from cancer in France caused by smoking.
While tax increases have pushed the price of smoking up to around the 7 euro mark, France’s smoking rate is 33 per cent.