Roles and leverages of civil society in the field of tobacco and nicotine prevention: the case of the ACT’s call for a ban on puff bars
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Alliance Contre le Tabac: ACT, Paris, France
Publication date: 2023-10-08
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Marion Catellin   

Alliance Contre le Tabac: ACT, Paris, France
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A100
The aim of this session is to present the roles and levers available to civil society in the field of nicotine and tobacco prevention. To illustrate the tools that can be mobilized, this session aims to present the mechanisms that have been put in place by ACT – Alliance Contre le Tabac to combat a new product developed by the tobacco industry: ""Puff bars"". Puff bars are disposable e-cigarettes, available in a wide variety of sweet and fruity flavours (e.g. marshmallow), with a packaging that is particularly attractive to young people. The rapid spread of the use of puffs among teenagers, especially in secondary schools, despite the ban on sales of this product to minors in France raises fears of an epidemic of nicotine addiction. To approach this new concern, our association has developed three main complementary lines of action on the subject (research and studies, advocacy and communication through awareness campaigns) that will be presented in the session. First of all, we wanted to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon, which is why ACT and BVA, an international research group, have been the first to survey French teenagers aged 13 to 16 about their perception and use of these flavored disposable e-cigarettes. This survey confirmed the sense of a sudden craze for these products among very young teenagers: 13% of them have already tested puff bars and 9% say they have already bought it. This study enabled us to promote advocacy actions among French decision-makers, by supporting the introduction of a cross-party bill to ban these disposable electronic cigarettes. We also met with European decision-makers and representatives of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health. The environment was also an essential lever for mobilizing civil society more broadly in this battle, which is why we launched a public awareness campaign in June 2023 alongside the environmental association Surfrider Foundation, showing that tobacco and new nicotine products are ecotoxic bombs for our planet.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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