France is set to ban electronic cigarettes from public places and subject them to the same tight controls as tobacco, the government has announced.
The battery-powered devices contain liquid nicotine which is turned into a vapour when inhaled.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine confirmed reports that a ban would go ahead.
She said: “The e-cigarette is not an ordinary product. We need to apply the same measures as there are for tobacco. That means making sure it cannot be smoked in public places, that its sale is restricted to over 18s and that firms are not allowed to advertise the products.”
Touraine expressed her concern over the ongoing popularity of cigarette smoking among young people in France, while in other western countries increasingly fewer young people take up the habit. She also warned of poor awareness levels among pregnant women in France, where more expectant women smoke than in any other European country.
E-cigarettes are currently legal to use in bars and restaurants and all other public places, where traditional smoking has been banned for five years.
In Warwickshire there is a free Stop Smoking Service for people wishing to quit. For help and advice on stopping smoking call 0800 0852917, text LIFE to 80800 or visit smokefreewarwickshire.org