A French Polynesian member of the French Senate Lana Tetuanui has defended the amended nuclear compensation law.
The law now says victims must prove a minimum amount of exposure to the French nuclear weapons tests in order to be eligible for compensation.
This comes amid renewed controversy triggered by pending court cases.
Mrs Tetuanui issued a statement defending her stance a day after her party, the Tapura Huiraatira, rejected criticism directed against her.
In it, she drew a link between tobacco use and radiation poisoning.
She said if people know the risk posed by tobacco it is not up to the French state to compensate smokers who get cancer in French Polynesia or who have been to French Polynesia.
Mrs Tetuanui was in charge of a commission two years ago whose work led to an amendment of a French act that reintroduced a minimum exposure threshold.
Last week, a Tahiti court was given expert legal advice to throw out 10 of the 12 nuclear compensation claims under consideration.
France tested 193 nuclear weapons in the South Pacific over a 30-year period, with some of the atmospheric blasts irradiating most islands.