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Cigarette sales to under-18s banned in Monaco soon?

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Unlike many other countries, Monegasque law bans the sale of cigarettes to under-16s, not to under-18s - © Unsplash

There is currently a ban in the Principality on cigarette sales to under-16s.

While he recently spoke about a possible ban on ‘puffs’ in the Principality in the near future, the Minister for Health and Social Affairs Christophe Robino also gave an update on the sale of conventional cigarettes.

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The question was raised on Thursday during the Public Budget Session at the National Council. “I was shocked to discover that the cut-off on cigarette sales in Monaco is 16, years old instead of 18, as in most other countries,” said Christophe Robino, referring to law no. 1.346 of 9 May 2008 on smoking prevention. “Tabling this bill [on puffs] will give us the opportunity of bringing a number of the law’s provisions up to date,” he added.

Christophe Robino also hopes that the bill will be introduced before the end of the year. For the time being, the text will only deal with sales and not use. “I would tend to be in favour of banning these disposable devices from the country altogether. (…) But in a country like Monaco, however I think it would be difficult to ban use by adult visitors who come with a ‘puff’ they bought at home. (…) If we move towards a total ban, we might also ask ourselves: why not ban refills? We need to find a balance.”

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National Councillor Mathilde Le Clerc stressed, however, that an outright ban on sales might not be enough to combat addiction among young people: “There are retailers who sell these items very close to our borders, and you only have to walk a few metres to get them.”

On a somewhat similar question, National Councillor Thomas Brezzo called for clarification of the regulations on CBD, a cannabis derivative that contains no psychotropic substances and is currently sold over the counter in France and Italy: “there is a lack of regulation in the Principality that can be open to interpretation. I think we need some clarification. (…) People who buy it freely in Beausoleil and then cross the road into Monaco run the risk of breaking the law. Some clear communication would be welcome.”

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