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Nearly 12 million daily smokers in France, a figure that has stagnated since 2019

“The number of smokers remains at a high level in France”.

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Nearly 12 million daily smokers in France, a figure that has stagnated since 2019

“The number of smokers remains at a high level in France”. Here is the report drawn up by Public Health France in its annual report on smoking in France published on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day. According to the study, in metropolitan France in 2022, more than three out of ten people aged 18 to 75 say they smoke (31.8%) and a quarter smoke daily (24.5%).

After an unprecedented drop between 2016 and 2019, the number of smokers has stabilized. The difference between men and women is still significant (27.4% versus 21.7%), even though the proportion of women who smoke daily has increased in recent years.

The prevalence of daily smoking is also strongly linked to social background. Indeed, it is much higher when the level of the diploma is lower: if 16.8% of holders of a diploma higher than the baccalaureate smoke every day, the proportion rises to 30.8% among people who do not have no diploma or a diploma lower than the baccalaureate. It is also higher among the third of the population with the lowest incomes (33.6%). The other variable to be taken into account is that of the professional situation: 26.1% of employed workers smoke daily against 42.3% of unemployed people.

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However, a large majority of smokers want to quit: almost six out of ten say they want to quit and more than a quarter want to do so within six months. But smokers simultaneously show some difficulty in putting an end to their addiction: 30.3% say they have tried to quit for at least a week in the last 12 months, without success.

The prevalence of daily vaping also remains limited even if it has tended to increase: 5.5% of people aged 18 to 75 say they vape regularly, compared to 2.5% in 2016.

For Public Health France, these results should lead to a strengthening of public policies in the fight against smoking. According to the public body, the interruption of the drop in the number of smokers since 2019 should alert. And it is in this perspective that the Minister of Health and Prevention François Braun had already announced a "new national program to combat tobacco" which will be launched this year. In particular, the plan provides for better prevention among young people who could start smoking and more regular support for smokers who wish to quit.

The long-term objective is that of a "tobacco-free generation" in 2032. The national committee for the fight against smoking published its proposals at the beginning of May to support the government's plan in preparation: continue to increase the price of tobacco packets, prohibit the sale of tobacco before the age of 21 or even develop tobacco-free zones.

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