After the high number of smokers, the Government decided to face it a by introducing new policies.

A large number of people in France have reportedly stopped smoking, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. The authorities released Monday a new study performed between the years 2016 and 2017. This paper demonstrated that about a million people quitted cigarettes. This is something that happens for the first time, at least in the very last decade.

The study also suggested that not only over-21-year-old people stopped smoking cigarettes, but also teenagers and others on low incomes.

In 2016, 29.4 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 75 smoked at least one cigarette per day. But, as the officials noted, that number declined to 26.9 percent. This means that in the first year of study, about 13.2 million people were smokers. In just 12 months, that number dropped to 12.2 million.

Tobacco, France, Smoking cigarettes
About million people quitted tobacco in just twelve months. Image credit: Getty

The ministry said in a statement that this represents a success for the European country because it is “the first time since 2000” that the number of smokers declines “among the most disadvantaged.”

“On top of the rise in national tax, which has already proved fruitful, we are working at the European level on a European tax framework,” said France’s Health Minister Agnès Buzyn.

Experts agreed that what made people change their lifestyles were the anti-smoking measures that the authorities introduced back in 2015 – besides the hundreds of campaigns made around the country, like the tobacco-free month.

New measures against tobacco

The policy aims for higher prices of cigarettes in France, a country that was previously known due to the high number of smokers – among other things. According to the officials, the price they expect for a package of cigarettes by 2020 is €10.

Tobacco, France, Smoking cigarettes
The study also suggested that adolescents also stopped smoking. Image credit: Getty

These actions have impulse people not only to stop buying tobacco, but also to replace it with other more “natural” – some of them just cheaper – substitutes.

“These results are encouraging, they mark a break [with old habits]. With the rise in tax [on cigarettes] we can hope that these results are sustainable,” said Buzyn. “Tobacco is a trajectory of inequality, it weighs particularly on the most disadvantaged and it gets worse.”

The minister also noted that 38.8 percent of the “most disadvantaged” people were smokers in 2016, but that changed in 2017, when the number dropped to 34 percent. Those who were unemployed in the first year represented a 49.7. In 2017, the number concluded 43.5 percent.

Buzyn also reminded that “tobacco kills 200 people every day” in France, which means that “one in two smokers will die.”

Source: The Local Fr