France - number of cigarettes sold starts to rise again..

March 12, 2010 - The number of cigarettes sold in France has started to grow again, while sales of nicotine replacement treatments in pharmacies has plummeted. The Observatoire Français des Drogues et des Toxicomanes (OFDT) found in its annual report that tobacco sales rose 2% last year - and cigarette sales in particular grew by 2.6%.

France has 14 million smokers, or 22 percent of its population. About 72,000 deaths are linked to smoking annually. (France Bans Smoking in Cafes, Clubs, Rejects Sartre's Gauloises by Helene Fouquet and Jeremy van Loon,, 12/27/2007)

Between 2004 and 2008, the numbers remained relatively stable - despite government campaigns, a 30 centimes price rise last November and a ban on smoking in enclosed public places. The price rise in November was “Too small” and “Does not appear to have had an influence on sales” notes the OFDT. According to Bertrand Dautzenberg, president of the French Office for the Prevention of Tobacco addiction (OFT), “It was an increase demanded by the industry. It had been structurally conceived for people not to diminish their consumption.”

The report said cut-price cross-border cigarette sales - mostly in Belgium and Spain - had contributed to the 2009 increase.

The OFDT also found that sales of nicotine replacement products in pharmacies fell 21.5% in 2009, dropping to their lowest level since 2001.

The government is planning a new anti-smoking campaign in the coming months - including graphic images on cigarette packets showing the damage caused to the body.

References: Cigarette sales up patch sales down,, 3/12/2010; Tobacco sales in France are on the rise again, Réagir,, 3/12/2010.

France - a few related news briefs:
France - anti-smoking shock ad aimed at teens..;
France - some smokers are flaunting the ban on smoking..;
Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008..;
French researchers announced a striking 15% decrease in admissions of patients with myocardial infarction to emergency wards since the public ban on smoking came into effect..;
France - cheaper cigarettes close by in Belgium...