France could be set to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products and a ban on smoking electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) in public places.

Health minister Marisol Touraine intends to table a bill on 17 June bringing in a raft of anti-smoking measures, including the removal of all branding from cigarette and rolling tobacco packs.

E-cigs would also be subjected to many of the same tight controls as tobacco.

E-cigs are currently legal to use in bars and restaurants and all other public places, where traditional smoking has been banned in France for five years.

The e-cig market is booming with around 500,000 French people now thought to be using the devices.

Smoking rates have been gradually declining in France and last month Imperial Tobacco announced the closure of the country’s largest Gauloise cigarette factory.

The move prompted the factory’s 327 workers to go on strike and hold five managers hostage. They were later released after a day of captivity.