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About Me:Hi I’m Nadege and I study French at the University of Leeds, and I have just completed my third year abroad in Montpellier studying literature and enjoying the sunshine! I love art; painting and being creative, as well as photography and baking. Travelling is my favourite hobby at the moment; experiencing the French language and culture. I hope you enjoy reading some of my articles!
The topic of smoking has recently been headlining French news as the debate as to what should be done to reduce smoking is ongoing. Recently, there have been new laws put in place for the future regarding smoking, but will they have a positive outcome? What really needs to change to reduce smoking in France?
Even for non-smokers in France, they are victims of passive smoking, and therefore even if they have chosen not to smoke, they are still surrounded by cigarette smoke. This can still cause many serious illnesses and in the worst case; lead to deaths. Can you believe that around 50% of people aged 18 to 34 in France smoke? When comparing this statistic to that of England's, it is significantly high because in England only around 20% of people aged over 16 smoke. In England, statistics regarding smoking are improving; less and less people are smoking, whereas in France the statistics are getting worse and there has been an increase in people who smoke, even after the law banning smoking inside public areas. In fact, smoking is the main cause for the death rate in France, which is truly shocking, as this could be prevented.
The smoking ban in France, prohibiting people to smoke inside buildings and public spaces was put in place in 2006, and then reinstated in 2008. This ban has helped to reduce passive smoking, because non-smokers are now less surrounded by cigarette smoke, and there is a general knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. However, as the previous statistics state, this smoking law did not have a major impact on smokers in France. I can’t help but assume that this is because the French culture is a culture where people have an active lifestyle, and spend time much of their time outdoors. Though this is a positive aspect, this also means that smoking takes place outdoors most of the time, and many restaurants in France, due to the good weather, have most of their tables and chairs outside. In the winter months, when it rains, restaurants simply put up a plastic cover. This means that especially when eating out, you will still feel a victim of passive smoking, and smokers will continue to smoke.
Having said this, there has been a reduction in the amount of people who smoke in their private homes. The reason for this may be the correlation between the smoking ban in public spaces, and realising that it is disrespectful towards non-smokers, therefore banning themselves from smoking in their own homes. It is a positive aspect which has arisen from the smoking ban in public areas, because due to this reduction of people who smoke in their homes, it means that children are also less likely to be surrounded by smoke.
To be continued..