Could France Elect the World’s First Vaping President?
In a most unexpected turn of events, the French presidential election is heading to a runoff vote on May 7th between candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Both of these candidates came from outsider political parties, and swept to the front of the multi-candidate race.
As a result, the entire world has been watching their progress, waiting to see which one will ultimately unseat the traditional party establishment that has run the country for decades.
For vapers, it could signal the first opportunity to have a presidential candidate that openly vapes in office.
Le Pen’s History
Marine Le Pen grew up in politics with her father at the head of the National Front Party. However, his place in history is tarnished by a string of anti-Semitic and racist statements that marked the party as extremely far right compared to even the traditional right wing party within the country.
When Marine Le Pen took over as the head of the National Front, it largely retained its reputation with the people of France, and she spent the last five years working to undo the associations of her party with radical racism.
Her efforts appear to have paid off as she picked up more than 21% of the vote over the weekend, following close behind Macron at 23%. She has focused on making her party more moderate with time, and has distanced herself from her father’s legacy.
Leaving the Party Behind
Despite the time she poured into rebuilding the National Front’s reputation, Le Pen suddenly stepped down as the head of the party on Monday. When asked about this decision she explained that for her to be an effective leader of all of France’s people, she needed to win the presidency without any party lines holding her back.
She is clearly trying to appeal to a broader base with the final vote coming up on May 7th, and this tactic could potentially give her enough votes from the middle and the left of the political spectrum to give her an edge over Macron in the final hours.
The First Vaping President?
One of the more unique observations of Marine Le Pen is that she regularly carries an e-cigarette in her breast pocket and has been photographed vaping on numerous occasions.
While there is little coverage of whether or not other political leaders around the world vape, it is possible that Marine Le Pen could become the first president of a country to openly vape.
Regardless of her political leanings, this could show promise for vapor-related legislation across the globe if there are more people in power who are using vaporizers and understand the technology.
Now, France is poised to find out the run-off results in less than two weeks, entering a new era of political leadership without ties to the mainstream parties of its past.
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.