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French schools cite terrorism as reason to lift smoking ban

Published:Wednesday | February 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM


French high schools said students should be allowed to smoke on school grounds so that they don't become terrorist targets when they gather for cigarette breaks on the street outside.

A leading union of school administrators first made the request five days after the November 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and 350 wounded. Following a refusal by the health ministry, the SNPDEN union last week renewed its call for a loosening of the school-smoking ban as long as France remains under a state of emergency.

Around one-third of French teens between 15 and 19 years old smoke, according to government statistics.