Cigarette? Oui, S'il Vous Plaît

French men are kicking smoking, but the country's women keep puffing

(RxWiki News) Exposure to tobacco and smoking has declined among French men by some 15 percent since the mid-1980s, but the habit has increased among women during the same timeframe.

As a result, investigators from the World Health Organization French MONICA (MONItoring trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease) Center say the disparate trends forecast changes in death rates from coronary heart disease in French men and women since 1985: They estimated a decline in death rates from coronary heart disease in men of 10 percent to 15 percent, but an increase in death rates among women of 0.1 percent to 3.6 percent.

"The prevalence of smoking in men has been high for the past 60 years and is now tending to fall, whereas women only started to smoke in large numbers much more recently," investigators said of the trend.

Researchers looked at data from detailed surveys of mid-life adults aged 35-64 years in three distinct geographical regions of France. The surveys were conducted at three points (1985-87, 1995-97 and 2005-07) and involved more than 10,000 individuals.

Among the investigators' findings: a significant decrease in current tobacco consumption between 1985-87 and 2005-07 from a prevalence rate of 40 percent to 24.3 percent among men; a slight increase in tobacco consumption between 1985-87 and 2005-07 from 18.9 percent to 20 percent among women; and age at first cigarette decreased from 21.4 years in 1995-97 to 18.8 years in 2005-07.

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Review Date: 
December 8, 2010