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France Bans Smoking on All Beaches: Surprising Move by European Country

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France’s Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau unveiled the plan, which includes a series of measures aimed at reducing the number of avoidable deaths caused by tobacco products in the country. According to the minister, tobacco products cause an estimated 75,000 avoidable deaths in France each year. The ban on smoking in public areas such as beaches and parks is expected to help reduce this number significantly.

The new ban has received mixed reactions from French society, with some supporting the move and others criticizing it as an infringement on personal freedom. However, France is not the first European country to implement such a ban, and it is likely that other countries will follow suit in the future. The implications of this move for public health and the future of smoking in Europe are yet to be seen.

  • France has banned smoking on all beaches, public parks, forests, and near schools as part of its larger anti-smoking plan.
  • The ban is expected to have a positive impact on public health by reducing the number of avoidable deaths caused by tobacco products.
  • The move has received mixed reactions from French society, but it is likely that other European countries will follow suit in the future.

The Smoking Ban in France

France has recently announced a ban on smoking on all beaches, as well as in public parks, forests, and near schools. This move is part of the French government’s efforts to create a “tobacco-free generation” and reduce the number of smokers in the country.

Reasons Behind the Ban

The French government has cited several reasons for the smoking ban. First and foremost, the ban is aimed at protecting public health. Second, the ban is intended to reduce the environmental impact of cigarette butts on beaches and other public areas. Third, the ban is designed to discourage young people from taking up smoking by reducing their exposure to it in public places.

Implementation of the Ban

The smoking ban will be implemented starting next year. It will apply to all public beaches, parks, forests, and areas near schools. Smokers who violate the ban will face fines of up to €135, which is equivalent to around $150 USD. The ban will be enforced by local authorities, who will be responsible for ensuring that smokers comply with the new rules.

To help promote the smoking ban, the French government has launched a public awareness campaign. The campaign includes posters and other materials that highlight the dangers of smoking and encourage people to quit. The government has also announced plans to increase the price of cigarettes and to provide more support for smokers who want to quit.

Overall, the smoking ban in France is a significant step towards creating a healthier and more sustainable future for the country. It is hoped that the ban will help to reduce smoking rates in France and encourage other countries to follow suit.

Impact on Public Health

France’s decision to ban smoking on all beaches is expected to have a positive impact on public health. The ban is aimed at reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, which has been linked to various health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), secondhand smoke is a major cause of premature death and disease worldwide. It is estimated that exposure to secondhand smoke causes more than 1.2 million premature deaths each year. By banning smoking on all beaches, France is taking a step towards reducing the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

In addition to reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, the ban is also expected to reduce litter on beaches. Cigarette butts are one of the most common forms of litter on beaches, and they can take years to decompose. By banning smoking on beaches, France is not only protecting public health but also preserving the environment.

The ban is also expected to encourage smokers to quit smoking or to smoke less. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, smoking bans can help reduce smoking rates and encourage smokers to quit. By banning smoking on all beaches, France is sending a strong message that smoking is not acceptable in public spaces.

Overall, the ban on smoking on all beaches in France is a positive step towards improving public health and protecting the environment. It is hoped that other countries will follow France’s lead and implement similar bans in the future.

Reactions from French Society

Public Opinion

The ban on smoking on all beaches in France has been met with mixed reactions from the public. While some have welcomed the move, others have criticized it as an infringement on their personal freedom. According to a recent poll by BBC News, 52% of French citizens support the ban, while 48% oppose it.

Those in favour of the ban argue that it will help reduce the amount of litter on beaches and protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke. They also believe that it will promote a healthier lifestyle and set a good example for younger generations. On the other hand, opponents of the ban argue that it is unnecessary and will not be effective in reducing smoking rates. They also believe that it is an overreach of government authority and violates individual rights.

Response from the Tourism Industry

The tourism industry in France has expressed concerns about the impact of the smoking ban on tourism. According to The Telegraph, some beachfront businesses rely heavily on smoking tourists and fear that the ban will lead to a decrease in revenue.

However, others in the industry have welcomed the ban as a way to attract more non-smoking tourists and improve the overall image of French beaches. They believe that the ban will help create a cleaner and healthier environment for visitors and encourage more families to visit the beaches.

Overall, the ban on smoking on all beaches in France has generated a lot of discussion and debate in French society. While some support the move, others are concerned about the impact on personal freedom and the tourism industry.

Comparisons with Other European Countries

France is not the first European country to implement a smoking ban on beaches. Other countries have also taken similar measures in recent years. In this section, we will compare France’s smoking ban on beaches with other European countries.

Similar Policies

In 2018, Spain became the first Mediterranean country to ban smoking on beaches. The ban was initially implemented in the Balearic Islands, which include popular tourist destinations such as Ibiza and Mallorca. The ban was later extended to other regions of Spain. Similar to France, the smoking ban in Spain is enforced by fines.

Italy also implemented a smoking ban on beaches in 2019. The ban applies to all beaches in the country and is enforced by fines. The ban was introduced as part of a wider anti-smoking law that also includes measures such as higher taxes on cigarettes.

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Differing Approaches

While some European countries have implemented smoking bans on beaches, others have taken a different approach. For example, in Portugal, smoking is allowed on beaches, but only in designated areas. These areas are clearly marked and are usually located away from the main beach area.

In Greece, smoking is not banned on beaches, but there are restrictions on smoking in public places. The law prohibits smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as bars and restaurants, but does not extend to outdoor areas.

Overall, it is clear that smoking bans on beaches are becoming more common in Europe. While some countries have taken a stricter approach, others have opted for a more relaxed approach with designated smoking areas. France’s decision to ban smoking on beaches is in line with this trend and is likely to be welcomed by many tourists who visit the country’s beaches.

Future Implications

Predicted Outcomes

The ban on smoking on beaches and public parks in France is expected to have significant positive outcomes. The most important outcome is the reduction of the health risks associated with smoking. Second-hand smoke is dangerous and has been linked to lung cancer, heart disease, and other respiratory illnesses. By banning smoking in public places, the French government hopes to reduce the number of people who are exposed to second-hand smoke.

Another predicted outcome of the ban is that it will help to reduce litter on beaches. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter found on beaches and can take up to 10 years to decompose. By banning smoking on beaches, the French government hopes to reduce the amount of litter on beaches and make them more attractive to tourists.

Potential Challenges

While the ban on smoking on beaches and public parks in France is expected to have positive outcomes, it may also face some challenges. One potential challenge is enforcement. It may be difficult to enforce the ban, especially on beaches where people are spread out and there are no clear boundaries.

Another potential challenge is that the ban may be unpopular with some smokers. While the ban is intended to protect public health, some smokers may feel that their rights are being infringed upon. It is possible that the ban could lead to protests or other forms of civil disobedience.

Overall, the ban on smoking on beaches and public parks in France is a significant step towards protecting public health and the environment. While there may be some challenges in enforcing the ban, the positive outcomes are expected to outweigh the potential challenges.

What prompted France to ban smoking on all beaches?

France’s Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau unveiled the anti-smoking plan on Wednesday, aimed at fulfilling President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to create “the first tobacco-free generation” by 2032. The ban is part of a larger plan to reduce smoking in France, which has one of the highest smoking rates in Europe.

How will France enforce the ban on smoking on beaches?

The details of how the smoking ban will be enforced are not yet clear, but the French government has said that it will rely on a combination of education and enforcement to ensure compliance. The government has also said that it will work with local municipalities to ensure that the ban is enforced on all beaches in France.

What are the penalties for violating France’s smoking ban on beaches?

The penalties for violating the smoking ban on beaches in France have not yet been announced. However, the French government has said that it will work with local municipalities to enforce the ban and that it will rely on a combination of education and enforcement to ensure compliance.

What impact will the smoking ban have on tourism in France?

It is unclear what impact the smoking ban will have on tourism in France. However, some experts have suggested that the ban could actually attract more tourists to France, particularly those who are concerned about the health risks associated with secondhand smoke.

Are there any exceptions to the smoking ban on beaches in France?

There are no exceptions to the smoking ban on beaches in France. The ban applies to all beaches in the country, regardless of whether they are public or private.

Will other European countries follow France’s lead in banning smoking on beaches?

It is possible that other European countries could follow France’s lead in banning smoking on beaches. However, at this time, no other European country has announced plans to do so.

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Analysis

Imperfect UN: A Call for Major Reform Amid a Legitimacy Crisis

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flags of countries in front of the united nations office at geneva

In today’s rapidly changing global landscape, the United Nations (UN) stands as a beacon of hope for international cooperation and conflict resolution. Established in the aftermath of World War II, the UN was envisioned as an organization that would promote peace, security, and cooperation among nations. However, as we step into the 21st century, it is evident that the UN is facing a legitimacy crisis, and major reform is imperative to restore its effectiveness. In this article, we will delve into the challenges the UN currently faces, the need for reform, and how the Global South can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of this international institution.

The Imperfections of the United Nations

1. Unequal Power Dynamics

One of the fundamental issues plaguing the UN is the unequal distribution of power among its member states. The Security Council, consisting of five permanent members with veto powers, holds a disproportionate influence over international affairs. This power imbalance often hinders the UN’s ability to take decisive action on critical global issues.

2. Lack of Representation

Another glaring problem is the lack of representation of the Global South within the UN’s decision-making bodies. Many countries from Africa, Asia, and Latin America are underrepresented or marginalized in crucial discussions, leading to a skewed perspective on global issues.

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3. Bureaucratic Inefficiencies

The UN’s bureaucratic machinery is often criticized for its inefficiency and red tape. Delays in decision-making and resource allocation can hamper the organization’s ability to respond swiftly to crises and humanitarian emergencies.

4. Financial Constraints

Financial constraints are a perennial issue for the UN. It heavily relies on member states’ contributions, and often, these funds fall short of meeting the organization’s ambitious goals. This financial instability can undermine the UN’s effectiveness in carrying out its missions.

The Urgent Need for Reform

5. Overcoming Power Imbalances

To address the issue of unequal power dynamics, the UN must consider reforms in the structure of the Security Council. Expanding the number of permanent members or limiting the use of the veto power can help create a more balanced and equitable decision-making process.

6. Ensuring Representation

Enhancing the representation of the Global South is vital for the UN’s legitimacy. This can be achieved by increasing the number of seats in the General Assembly for countries from underrepresented regions and giving them a more prominent role in the decision-making process.

7. Streamlining Bureaucracy

To tackle bureaucratic inefficiencies, the UN should embark on a comprehensive reform of its administrative processes. Implementing modern management practices, reducing red tape, and fostering a culture of efficiency can lead to more effective outcomes.

8. Diversifying Funding Sources

Reducing financial constraints requires diversifying the UN’s funding sources. Exploring alternative revenue streams, such as partnerships with philanthropic organizations and private sector contributions, can help ensure the organization’s financial stability.

The Role of the Global South

9. Advocating for Change

The Global South, comprising a significant portion of the UN’s membership, can play a pivotal role in advocating for reform. These countries should unite and put forward a collective vision for a more equitable and efficient United Nations.

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10. Diplomacy and Collaboration

Global South nations can also engage in diplomatic efforts to build coalitions and garner support for reform proposals. Collaborative diplomacy can lead to a more inclusive and effective UN.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the United Nations is facing a legitimacy crisis that cannot be ignored. Major reform is imperative to address the organization’s imperfections and ensure its continued relevance in a rapidly changing world. By overcoming power imbalances, ensuring representation, streamlining bureaucracy, and diversifying funding sources, the UN can become a more effective global institution. The Global South has a vital role to play in advocating for and driving these reforms, ultimately shaping the future of the UN and global governance. It is through collective efforts and a commitment to change that the UN can truly fulfill its mission of promoting peace, security, and cooperation among nations in the 21st century.

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Elections

Who will win French election 2022?

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Nicolas Sarkozy snubs centre-right hopeful in favour of Emmanuel Macron

France will vote for its new president in April in an election marked by division over the ongoing response to Covid-19, balancing the nation’s economy, tackling unemployment and questions over national identity.

In a crowded field of candidates, President Emmanuel Macron – who is yet to officially announce his candidacy – will once again attempt to stave off the French far-right, with a rising conservative candidate also threatening to split the mainstream vote.

Here is everything you need to know about the latest in the election campaign, the candidates and their chances of winning. 

1

The latest

Valerie Pecresse, the outsider centre-right hopeful in the French presidential race, has suffered a setback after Nicolas Sarkozy declined to attend her forthcoming rally in Paris.

Pecresse’s campaign “has been widely criticised as uninspiring since her designation” as the Republicans’ contender, The Times said. But she hoped Sarkozy “would be present in the front row of a rally being touted by her supporters as a chance for a new start”.

The former president has “let it be known that he will be otherwise engaged on Sunday”, the paper reported, “heightening concern in the Pecresse camp over his reluctance to back her publicly”.

Macron has been handed a further boost through the endorsement of Eric Woerth, a labour and budget minister in governments led by Sarkozy. The announcement had “raised questions about the possible stance of Sarkozy in the election”, France 24 said.

Making his support for Macron public, Woerth said that he did not “subscribe” to the arguments being put forward by Pecresse and her party, describing the serving president as the best option to “defend the interests of France and the French” in April’s election. 

His refusal to attend Pecresse’s forthcoming rally have added fuel to the fire of French media reports that are already “awash with reports that Sarkozy is critical” of her campaign”, The Times said.

She has come under fire for an “absence of eye-catching pledges”. But Sarkozy is reportedly “angry she has failed to mention him as her inspiration”, preferring instead to “pay tribute to the late centre-right president Jacques Chirac, whom Sarkozy disliked”.

2

The candidates

While he is yet to officially declare his candidacy, Emmanuel Macron is widely considered the favourite to win re-election come April. The serving president is expected to tout “new foreign investment projects in France and a booming economy as proof his economic reforms have been bearing fruit” after four years in the role, Reuters said.

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Macron, who leads La République En Marche (Republic Forward), has also set himself up for a conflict with those who refuse to be vaccinated, “ramping up his rhetoric against France’s minority of non-vaccinated people – less than 10% of the population – in part as a way of setting the political battle lines for the election”, The Guardian reported.

Valerie Pecresse, the candidate for the centre-right Républicains, declared her candidacy in July 2021 following the party’s internal primary. Nicknamed “the bulldozer”, she has stated that she will be France’s first female president, describing herself as “one-third Thatcher and two-thirds Merkel”, France 24 said.

Running for a third time, Marine Le Pen is once again the candidate for her far-right Rassemblement national (National Rally) party. The daughter of the party’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is opposed to globalisation, which she has previously blamed for negative economic trends, as well as standing against any expansion in the EU’s power.

She has previously called for a referendum on leaving the bloc, but since 2019 has said she no longer advocates France leaving the EU or the euro currency. Her party also calls for the “de-Islamisation” of French society, while Le Pen has argued in favour of the establishment of a privileged partnership with Russia.

Unlike previous campaigns, she has “bet on dropping the populist messaging that once characterised her”, The New York Times (NYT) said, pushing efforts to “un-demonize” her party and its association “with flashes of antisemitism and xenophobia”.

Le Pen’s decision to detoxify her image is in part a result of the rise of far-right candidate Eric Zemmour. Dubbed “the French Donald Trump” by Politico, the controversial former television pundit is racking up “far more prime-time TV slots and front-page stories than many of his rivals”.

Zemmour “admires the former US president”, according to The Guardian’s Paris correspondent Angelique Chrisafis, and has been “convicted for inciting racial hatred”. But those criminal convictions have not stopped his “meteoric” rise to fame as first a journalist and now the “new face” of the French far-right. 

From the left of the French political spectrum, Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the socialist Groupe La France insoumise, is also running for the top job. Like Le Pen, he is also on his third crack at winning the presidency. 

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A socialist, he stands for increased labour rights and the expansion of French welfare programmes. He also argues in favour of mass redistribution of wealth to rectify socioeconomic inequality and is an outspoken critic of the EU, which he claims has been corrupted and is now a tool for neoliberal ideology.

Christiane Taubira, the leftist unity candidate elected during the unofficial “people’s primary”, previously served as justice minister under president Francois Hollande. She also sat in the National Assembly of France for French Guiana from 1993 to 2012 and was a member of the European Parliament from 1994 to 1999.

Following her victory in the vote to select a candidate to lead the French left’s presidential campaign, she told activists: “We want a united left, we want a strong left and we have a great road in front of us.”

But the primary was “dogged by serious drawbacks”, France 24 said, including “the upfront refusal” by a number of leftist candidates “to pay any attention to its result”.

3

How the election works

The public will go to the polls and place their first votes on 10 April. 

If no candidate wins 50% of the vote, which the polls suggest is very unlikely, the election continues into a second-round run-off. In the second round, the top two candidates from the first round compete and the candidate with a majority wins. 

4

Who is leading in the polls?

According to Politico’s “Poll of Polls”, Macron leads the pack of candidates and would mop up 24% of first-round voters. He is ahead of Le Pen (17%), Pecresse (16%), Zemmour (13%) and Mélenchon (10%). Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who announced an outsider pitch for the presidency in September 2021, trails the leading pack on just 3%. 

The news site’s tracker suggests that Macron has increased his share of the first-round vote by one percentage point since he won in 2017 and that he would win a second-round run-off vote with 57% of the vote. Le Pen is forecast to pick up 43% of the vote in the second round, with Pecresse touted to run a closer race with 47% of the vote. 

This is reflected in the bookies’ odds*, which give Macron a 1/3 chance of retaining the presidency. Pecresse has shortest odds of 4/1, compared with 10/1 for Le Pen. Zemmour is on 12/1, while Melenchon trails on 20/1.

@theweek

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