It seems the slew of anti-smoking measures introduced in France have had a dramatic impact on the number of smokers in the country. According to a study conducted by Public Health France, one million people in France quit smoking in the space of a year, with initiatives such as neutral packaging, higher prices and anti-smoking campaigns being praised for attributing to the decline.
In 2017, 26.9% of 18- to 75-year-olds smoked every day, compared to 29.4% a year earlier. This equates to a drop of a million smokers, from 13.2 million to 12.2 million over the period. Such a drop has not been seen in a decade and Public Health France says the results are “historic”.
The study also revealed a notable decline in daily smoking habits “among the most disadvantaged”, including low-income earners and the unemployed for the first time since the year 2000.
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn welcomed the decline in smoking among those on low incomes, saying that "tobacco is a trajectory of inequality, it weighs particularly on the most disadvantaged and it gets worse".
Buzyn plans to raise the price of a pack of cigarettes from around €8 today to €10 by 2020.
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