STATE OF SMOKING IN FRANCE - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

State of smoking in


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France Smoking by the Numbers

Smoking Reduction

Smoking rates have increased in France from 29.9% in 2005 to 34.1% in 2014.

Tobacco Types

The most common type of tobacco is boxed cigarettes at 66%, followed by hand-rolled cigarettes, and then cigars.

Tobacco Deaths

The number of tobacco related deaths has decreased from 174 to 134 per 100,000 from 1990 to 2017. With men decreasing 266 to 196 and women 91 to 79.

Breast v Lung Cancer in Women (Deaths, 2017)

Breast: 4.59%, Lung: 3.64%

Media Dialogue

Media coverage contributes to an awareness of the dangers of smoking, alternative products, and methods for quitting. However, French smokers still lack the support they need to quit because smoking is part of a lifestyle in France. In French media, smoking has more of an allure than a stigma, largely due to enforcement of regulations and a lack of public health campaigns.
“With my girlfriend, we had stopped (smoking cigarettes) using e-cigarettes for one and a half years. It was an experiment, we didn’t expect anything from it, but it worked…. But there is always the issue with the alcohol. When drinking, I’ll have one cigarette, then another, and the days go by and then it’s a habit again. And you get back to smoking relatively slowly.”
– Marc-Oliver Barre, Smoker

Public Smoking


Smoking in indoor public places, workplaces, and public transportation prohibited.

Point of sale Displays


Advertising ban.

Branded Packs


Since April 2010, France has required pictorial health warnings on all cigarette packs.



Smokeless tobacco products for oral use, and e-cigarettes allowed.

Attitudes and Perceptions

How harmful are e-cigs compared to cigarettes?

Perception of relative harm of vaping devices. From the Foundation’s 2017 and 2019 Global Polls, participants were asked, “Do you think smoking e-cigarettes and vaping devices are more or less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes?”

*Data from the 2017 Global Poll


If smokers in France had to give up smoking completely tomorrow, 63.7% of smokers could not give up smoking immediately without seeking assistance (2017 global poll)


92.1% of French smokers feel well informed about smoking and its impact on their health (2017 global poll)


49.8% of smokers in France believe smoking vaping devices such as e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes (2017 global poll)


The leading factor that encouraged 38.45% of French smokers to quit was their personal health (2017 global poll)

Have you ever spent money on cigarettes that you knew would be better spent on household essentials like food?

Would an increase in tobacco price have an effect on your current smoking habit?

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