A decree for May 19, 2016 regulating vaping products containing nicotine has been published on May 20 in the national Official Journal.
The text n°33 also established rule for analytical methods to measure e-liquid concentration in nicotine and the mandatory information on packagings, for example: The packaging will be require to provide the following information over at least 30% of its surface: “The nicotine contained in this product creates a strong dependence. Its use by non-smokers is not recommended“.
It is noticeable how the term “e-cigarette” or even “electronic cigarette” has been adroitly replaced by “vaping products” (produits de la vape) throughout the document. A semantic pirouette that may allow further splitting the text dealing with the personal vaporizer from the other tobacco products.
The text n°27, is quite vague regarding notification. It is stated that, 6 months before marketing a product, manufacturers or importers must file notification records “by brand and by product type”. Instead of defining the notification cost per product (for example €44.88 in the Netherlands, £150 in the UK or €4,000 in Belgium), the Art. L. 3513-12 sets the upper limit to €7,600. The cost by itself is “defined by a decree” that is currently not defined.
Finally, the decree also sets how the law will be enforced:
- A fine of €100,000 for propaganda, publicity or any other advertisement of vaping products, illegale sale (products over 20 mg/ml or container greater than 20 ml…).
- A fine of €200,000 for a second infraction and court can suspend of sale activity up to 5 years.
- A fine of €45,000 for not introducing the annual report or not publishing the mandatory figures (expenses).
- A fine of €45,000 for selling products that have not been notified in France or for modifying legal information (on labels, packaging or official forms).
The Fivape reacts to the official release
Applying to vaping products the same regulation as for smoking products is “grotesque” while a consensus was met to recognize their usefulness in tobacco harm reduction.
The legal dispositions put in jeopardy the information provided to smokers to help them reduce their smoking. “Vaping, to date, has already helped about 1 million smokers stop smoking” explains the Fivape in a press release and adds “Marisol Touraine holds a liability for the 3 million French vapers”.
The vaping association pleads in favor of a proper regulation “to wise up about a disruptive innovation to hold back smoking hecatomb.” “Public authorities have a duty to support the French independent vaping market in a proportionate and responsible way“, said Jean Moiroud, its president.