While tobacco use seemed to decrease in France, with sales going down by 1.2% in 2016, the latest figures seem to contradict this trend. As explained by an article of Boursorama, cigarette sales levels during the first semester of 2017 have been quite similar to the same period in 2016, with even a 0.5% increase year-on-year. New measures are expected by 2020 to lead to a strong reduction of tobacco use in France.
22.5 billion cigarettes were sold in France during the first 6 months of 2017. These figures are far from the French Organization for Drugs and Addiction’s expectations. Since the neutral packaging was believed to be efficient, it was implemented in France in January 2017 but it has failed to reduce tobacco use. Over the past months, sales have been very fluctuating, with a 6% decrease in April followed by a 10% increase in June. This unexpected increase, probably linked to the Summer season, is considered worrying by the National Directorate for Health.
Pulmonologist Charles-Hugo Marquette has underlined that tobacco still causes many illnesses, such as cancers, heart attacks and breathing and cardiovascular problems. New and strong measures to address tobacco use are expected by tobacco control associations and charities. The price of cigarette packs should gradually increase to reach 10 euros by 2020. The National Directorate for Health has also announced “large prevention campaigns” aimed at young people.