Contrary to what the Minister of National Education had suggested, students will still not have the right to smoke on school premises this year.
The debate has been raging since the terrorist attacks of November 2015: should students be allowed to smoke in schools to ensure their safety? Prime Minister Edouard Philippe decided: it will be no.
No return of cigarettes in colleges and high schools
RTL said last week that the new Minister of National Education , Jean-Michel Blanquer , envisaged leaving the choice to the school heads: to allow students to smoke in specific areas inside the school or high school , or prohibit cigarettes in the establishment. Seized on the issue, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Monday that there was no question of letting the tobacco make its return in the playgrounds.
“At a time when the government is going to launch a tobacco control campaign , and while security around institutions has been strengthened under the new Vigipirate Attentats posture, there is no question of weakening the decree of November 15, 2006 which forbids smoking inside the establishments, “assured Matignon.
A decision welcomed by the associations
A decision that welcomed the tobacco control associations, which were alarmed by a possible authorization of cigarettes inside colleges and lycées. “It is a renormalization of the act of smoking in the worst place where it is forbidden since we choose the place of youth, which is the priority target of an industry that is an industry of death” , said last week Stéphane Loquet, director of the association of the law of non-smokers.
Despite the law, since the attacks, some principals have allowed students to smoke in an area of the court, to prevent them from gathering in front of the school and becoming a target. “The gathering of high school students, massively, on a sidewalk, is bringing an extremely high risk and certainly higher than the consumption of tobacco,” explained in February 2016 Michel Richard , deputy secretary general of the SNPDEN. The union had asked the government for a temporary lifting of the smoking ban on the premises, which resulted in a refusal.