French schools cite terrorism as reason to lift smoking ban

French high schools say 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 Nov. 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.