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French court rules e-cigarettes fall under tobacco regulations

TOULOUSE, France--A French commercial court ruled on Monday that e-cigarettes qualify as tobacco products and should only be sold by registered tobacconists.

The ruling by the court in Toulouse is subject to appeal but could eventually see the distribution of e-cigarettes limited by a state-imposed monopoly on tobacco sales.

The decision comes amid a global boom in sales of e-cigarettes — battery-powered, vapor-releasing tubes that are promoted as a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products.

The case stems from a complaint made by a local tobacconist against the Esmokeclean e-cigarette shop in the southern town of Plaisance-du-Touch.

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