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Cigarettes: the deputy who wants to fight against contraband – France


Born in Havana, François-Michel Lambert is nonetheless one of the most active deputies against smoking and the tobacco lobby. The elected representative of Gardanne (Bouches-du-Rhône) will plant several banderillas this week against the scourge of cigarette trafficking.

In France, it is estimated that 30% of cigarettes consumed are not purchased from tobacconists but via cross-border trafficking or smuggling. Figures increasing with each price increase and which call into question the effectiveness of the anti-smoking policy. On arrival, 400 million euros in revenue escape tobacconists each year and five billion less tax revenue.

The deputy Liberté Écologie Fraternité (ex-LREM) will table, this week, a first bill which aims to limit cross-border trafficking in cigarettes. “It aims to implement the WHO protocol on traceability, ratified by the European Union, to ensure that each member state imports no more than 5% of its own consumption,” explains François-Michel. Lambert. Luxembourg imports nine times its cigarette consumption, and therefore 90% of its volumes go back to France. The aim is to avoid fueling parallel trade in neighboring countries. They destroy our health policy based on the neutral package and a price of 10 euros ”.

Tobacco industry majors in the crosshairs

As European law allows countries to take up health issues, his proposal calls on the EU to act to force other countries to import only their own consumption. It is not certain, however, that the Brussels Commission accepts a measure which would significantly limit the Community principle of free movement of goods and services.

The MP’s anti-tobacco crusade does not end there. François-Michel Lambert is finalizing another bill which should be tabled within two weeks. “It aims to create heavy, specific sanctions against the false allegations of the majors of the tobacco industry. They do not control their own factories and do not sufficiently monitor their own production lines. However, they clear themselves of any responsibility for smuggling, claiming that the production comes from ghost factories like in a recent report broadcast on France 2 “. The deputy will question, this Tuesday, in the Hemicycle, the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, on the subject during the session of questions to the government.

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