12° Nicosia,
26 May, 2024

France's controversial anti-smoking campaign sparks debate

Health Minister's announcement of widespread no-smoking areas and hefty cigarette tax hike raises eyebrows igniting discussions on personal freedom and public health


France is set to intensify its battle against smoking, with Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau announcing a comprehensive anti-smoking program. The new regulations aim to make no-smoking areas more widespread, shifting the responsibility from local authorities to the central government. Currently, there are 7,200 tobacco-free zones in the country, but Rousseau envisions a broader implementation.

Taxes on cigarettes will see a significant increase, with a pack of 20 expected to rise from the current 11 euros to 12 euros by 2025 and 13 euros the following year. Additionally, the government plans to prohibit single-use disposable e-cigarettes, popular among the youth.

The ambitious goal is to create the "first tobacco-free generation by 2032," fulfilling President Emmanuel Macron's promise. In 2022, France had 23,300 tobacco sales points selling a total of 31 billion cigarettes, with 25 percent of adults over 18 being daily smokers, and 3 million people regularly using e-cigarettes.

A study by health authority Santé Publique France revealed that 31.8 percent of people aged 18 to 75 admitted to smoking, even if not daily. The prevalence of smoking in France stabilized after a decline between 2016 and 2019. Stress from the Covid-19 crisis may have influenced smoking habits, according to the study, which also highlighted higher smoking rates among lower-educated and lower-income populations. Almost 60 percent of daily smokers expressed a desire to quit, with over 26 percent planning to do so within the next six months.

[Information sourced from]

Cyprus  |  Europe  |  health  |  smoking

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