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After a drop in smoking in France between 2016 and 2019, the French seem to have given up on quitting smoking. In 2022, more than 3 out of 10 people declare themselves to be smokers and 25% declare that they smoke daily.

After an unprecedented drop in smoking in France between 2016 and 2019, the drop stabilized and in mainland France, more than three out of ten people aged 18-75 said they smoked (31.8%) and a quarter declared smoke daily (24.5%), we learn in the latest Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin from Public Health France.

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Puffs: Francois Braun

This prevalence of smoking has increased compared to 2019 when 30.4% of people reported smoking, while the change in daily smoking is less significant (24.0% in 2019). And the prevalence of daily smoking remains higher among men (27.4% vs 21.7% among women).

Social inequalities in smoking too

In this newsletter, published on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, social inequalities in smoking were also studied. “The prevalence of daily smoking remains in 2022 significantly higher when the level of diploma is lower: it varies from 30.8% among people with no diploma or a diploma below the baccalaureate, to 16.8% among holders of a diploma higher than the baccalaureate” underline the authors.

Prevalence is also highest (33.6%) among the third of the population with the lowest incomes; it rises to 20.9% among people with intermediate incomes and 21.4% for the highest incomes.

An average of 12 cigarettes per day

In 2022, daily smokers reported smoking an average of 12.6 cigarettes (or equivalent) per day, a stable number compared to 2021 and 2019. Less than a quarter of them (24.7%) made a attempted quit for at least one week in the past 12 months.

“The 2021 Cancer Barometer showed that less than a quarter of smokers said they had discussed the issue of tobacco with a health professional in the last 12 months, a proportion that is down sharply compared to 2015. However, advice to stop smoking smoking by a health professional increases the rate of smoking cessation at 6 months by around 70%” underline the authors.

In video: 3 good reasons to quit smoking

Source : Survey for Public Health France conducted by the Ipsos institute, from March 2 to July 9, 2022, among 3,229 people aged 18 to 75, residing in metropolitan France and speaking French.

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