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France to ban the sale of Poppers!

How risky are these little bottles? Apart from leaving a chemical burn on your nose... © Wikipedia.fr.

(BlogMensGo, 06th July 2011) The French Ministry of Health is preparing to ban the sale and supply "of products containing nitrites, such as those contained in poppers," according to a decision released June 30, 2011 by the Inter-ministerial Mission for the fight against drugs and drug addiction. The impending ban, has been put forward "because of the risk of dependence or abuse," but must still be ratified by a decree published in the Official Journal.

The French authorities based on a "proposal of the French Agency for Safety of Health Products (AFSSAPS)" and the results, released June 29, 2011, the "Health Barometer 2010 INPES on practices use of psychoactive drugs by adults" (François Beck, Romain Guignard, Jean-Baptiste Richard, Marie-Line Tovar, Stanislas Spilka, levels of drug use in France in 2010. health Barometer 2010, Trends 2011, n 76, 6 pages). The Barometer found that "poppers are increasing in distribution, thus 5.3% of 18-64 years have used it in their lives, making an increase from 3.9% in 2005."

It is specifically the marketing of some derivatives of nitrites that are to be banned in public, except as part of a regulated prescription. In a long and documented article in the April 22, 2006 (available in French), our blogger Stephen stated that poppers are available as "amyl nitrite [that is to say, pentyl] or butyl nitrite." The same article pointed unambiguously at the serious and sometimes fatal consequences of the use of poppers in certain circumstances.

Health authorities and French political support is in addition to their decision based on the risk of "protracted but reversible visual loss" related to the inhalation of poppers, a risk highlighted by a study in October 2010.

In 1990, the sale of products containing butyl nitrites, pentyl nitrites, or isomers, were prohibited in France on the grounds of danger to consumers and in 2007, the government further extended this prohibition to all alkyl nitrites that were not authorized for the sale as drugs.  After litigation by sex shop owners, this extension was quashed by the council of state on grounds that the government had failed to justify such a blanket prohibition: according to the court, the risks cited, concerning rare accidents often following abnormal usage, rather justified compulsory warnings on the packaging. In 2009, the Council of State annulled a decree prohibiting the marketing of poppers in France.  It is not surprising that the consideration to ban poppers again is rearing it's head again, this time I doubt there will be any loop holes.

Comment. "Risks of dependence or abuse"? There is no doubt that France will soon prohibit the marketing of alcohol and tobacco, which until proven otherwise kill far more than people poppers!

The risks associated with poppers are well known for many decades and based on the knowledge of risk people make their own decisions, I do not think there are many people that sniff poppers would sniff them if they had a weak heart, pacemaker etc, people know the risks of smoking and make their decision to carry on smoking and if we compare the statistics of death from poppers to that of smoking related disease and deaths from alcohol, there would be a stark contrast I am sure.

It would be better today strengthen disclosure requirements. For if we banned the sale of poppers, we will only shift the problem - to foreign countries or to other substances - and accidents resulting from the inhalation of poppers increase as the information will diminish.

It may also be worth noting here, that while in the UK you can walk into a newsagents (certainly in Manchester) and buy poppers, here in Switzerland, although not prohibited to use, they are illegal to sell.

(UPDATE: This ban is now in force. The Official Journal of 7 July 2011 issued a "decree of 29 June 2011 applying a portion of the regulation of drug products containing alkyl nitrites aliphatic, cyclic or heterocyclic and their isomers," stating that "The supply and sale to the public of the products, except medicines containing alkyl nitritesaliphatic, cyclic or heterocyclic and their isomers are prohibited. ")

This is a translation and variation of an article published on our French blog, you can read the original here.

Philca & Matt / MensGo

Originally via Le Figaro 29/06/2011 (In French)

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