Did French tobacco-lovers vanish up in smoke?
On May 28, a few days before the World No Tobbaco day, Santé Publique France (SPF), the French agency in charge of public health under the authority of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, published its annual barometer about tobacco consumption. According to this survey, the number of smokers has fallen by 600 000 people between 2017 and 2018, one year after a sharp fall of 1 million smokers. Tobbaco prevalence strongly decreases from 29.4% in 2016 to 25.4% in 2018.
This fall is especially important for 18 to 24 years old males and 55 to 64 years old females, but it hides a lot of social and geographical disparities in terms of absolute level and year on year variation. For example, tobacco prevalence is much higher in Provence than in Paris region.
Prevalence of smoking any tobacco product among persons aged >= 15 years (2015 / age adjusted)
If we can’t deny that France is on a very positive trend, its starting point is not very glorious. Compared to equivalent countries in GDP per capita, France is not in a good situation. In 2015, it was 6 percentage points above Japan, 9 above Great Britain and 13 above Canada and Australia. It was the worst country of its 10 closest peers.
Smoke prevalence: France’s peers focus
When we know that tobacco kills half of its users and more than 7 million people worldwide every year (6 million directly and 890 000 for second-hand smokers) due to various forms of cancer or deathly chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and that it also effects fertility, baby health, bones or diabetes, even if it is still modest compared to others this fall is definitively very good news !