With the Paris Olympics 2024 fast approaching, preparations are underway, and local governing bodies are imposing more regulations. Over 15 million spectators and stakeholders expected to flood the city in July and August, Paris officials are feeling the pressure and fast-tracking the introduction and execution of various initiatives. Rules on alcohol and single-use plastic have already been announced, but smoking-related regulations have yet to be shared.

This is a point of interest for many, given France’s current aim to be more smoke-free while also being able to cater to the diverse visitors it expects to host during the grand sporting event. Here’s what you need to know about the current regulations imposed for the Paris 2024 Olympics and if smoking may be banned as well.

Current regulations

Games organizers for the Paris Olympics are imposing strict regulations per the city and the nation’s existing laws and goals. Drinking alcohol is prohibited for regular attendees; only VIPs can enjoy a drink during the games. Indeed, Evin’s Law has been in place since 1991, which forbids the sale of alcohol to the general public inside stadiums in France. The organizers decided not to seek an exemption from this law for the Olympics.

Single-use plastics have also been banned from the Games, making the Olympics the first major event without them. Sponsors like Coca-Cola will hand out reusable glass bottles and set up soda fountains instead. Reusable cups will also be used for refreshments during the Olympic marathon. Paris aims to reduce the carbon footprint the Games will cause drastically. Specifically, they want to produce less than half of the carbon emissions from the Rio and London Olympics, which were held in 2016 and 2012, respectively.

As mentioned above, while rules on alcohol and plastic have been set, there haven’t been any specified regulations on smoking. This is despite other more niche concerns, like cleaning up the Seine for competition use and encouraging cycling, which has already been addressed. The previous Olympic Games in Tokyo also had restrictions on banning alcohol and reducing single-use plastic. However, unlike the Paris Games, smoking and vaping were announced to be banned at all venues. Many now wonder if Paris will follow suit and enforce such a rule aside from the nationwide laws already in place.

France’s smoking policies

France has been cracking down on cigarette usage by imposing stricter regulations. On top of prohibiting smoking in spaces like museums, monuments, and cinemas, the country plans to ban it on beaches, public parks, forests, and other public areas. France will also increase cigarette taxes and other rules on e-cigarettes, whilst smoking in French bars and restaurants has been banned since 2008. That’s a major issue if you’re also going to take in Paris food spots on your travels there.

To find a way around the ban, smoking alternatives have found solid footing. Smoke and tobacco-free products generally face fewer regulations than cigarettes, as they don’t produce smoke or contain harmful chemicals from tobacco. To illustrate, nicotine pouches are an emerging product for this reason and are increasing in popularity in Europe and the US. Popular pouches come in many flavors and nicotine strengths from various brands like ZYN, VELO, and Lucy. These ensure smokers find a flavor and strength that best appeals to their unique preferences. For example, ZYN spearmint pouches have a refreshing mint flavor, miming menthol cigarettes without the combustion at 6 mg strength. However, heavier smokers who do not like mint can get Juice Head Raspberry Lemon Mint pouches at 12 mg strength. Other alternatives like nicotine gum or nicotine patches may be other apt substitutes for cigarettes, and brands such as Nicorette and Niquitin are readily available to help quell the desire for tobacco. Statistics show that from 2014 to 2020, they were one of the top aids in France for quitting smoking, alongside other smokeless quitting aids like nicotine patches and lozenges.

What’s next?

If no official cigarette ban is announced for the Paris Olympics, it may be safe to assume that the country’s currently imposed regulations are to be followed. Since venues for the Games will be packed with people, the courteous and lawful thing to do is not to smoke to avoid disturbing others. Smoking alternatives may be safer since they’re discreet and don’t produce smoke, but proper waste disposal will still need to be considered. Local and international attendees should be aware of France’s laws on smoking to avoid trouble and keep the Games as smoke-free as much as possible.

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