French court bans smoking area in high school

April 21, 2016 3:29 pm
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"This is the confirmation of the illegality of all smoking zones in high schools, including in open air spaces," the DNF's Stephen Lequet said/AFP
“This is the confirmation of the illegality of all smoking zones in high schools, including in open air spaces,” the DNF’s Stephen Lequet said/AFP

, CERGY-PONTOISE, France, Apr 21 – A French court ruled Thursday that a high school outside Paris was not allowed to create a smoking zone on its premises, a measure taken by many schools after the jihadist attack on the capital in November.

The move was a bid to stop high school pupils crowding on pavements to grab a quick smoke between classes, which authorities and some parents feared would make them a target for potential attacks.

Overview
  • The Paul Lapie high school in Courbevoie is one of three taken to court by anti-smoking groups, who are up in arms at teenagers being given the right to smoke in schools a decade after it was banned.
  • The administrative court said the school's principal must "ensure the respect of public health laws banning smoking in school establishments."
  • Pressure group Non-Smokers' Rights (DNF), which filed the complaint along with another anti-tobacco group, said the ruling would set a precedent.

The Paul Lapie high school in Courbevoie is one of three taken to court by anti-smoking groups, who are up in arms at teenagers being given the right to smoke in schools a decade after it was banned.

The administrative court said the school’s principal must “ensure the respect of public health laws banning smoking in school establishments.”

Pressure group Non-Smokers’ Rights (DNF), which filed the complaint along with another anti-tobacco group, said the ruling would set a precedent.

“This is the confirmation of the illegality of all smoking zones in high schools, including in open air spaces,” the DNF’s Stephen Lequet said.

Shortly after the November 13 attacks on Paris nightspots and the national stadium which left 130 dead, the Islamic State group issued threats against French schools.

Under the state of emergency imposed after the attacks, a circular signed by both the education ministry and interior ministry was sent to schools urging them to avoid having pupils gather outside their premises.

Some schools then sent out letters to parents about new dedicated smoking areas, even specifying that ashtrays would be provided.

However the official rules have been clouded with confusion, with conflicting guidelines from the education ministry.

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