Published this week in TCPHEE

Skip to first unread message

Tatiana Andreeva

Sep 27, 2012, 3:40:05 PM9/27/12
to TCPHEE content alerts
Tobacco control policy in France: from war to compromise and
Alain Braillon, Anne Sophie Mereau, Gérard Dubois

BACKGROUND: Absence of an effective tobacco control policy costs lives
and tobacco prevention is policy-sensitive. We describe the historical
record of tobacco control in France.
METHODS: Public policies and main decisions (laws, regulations, health
plans) for tobacco control were considered from 1950 to 2010. Data for
cigarette sales and relative price of cigarettes were obtained from
official databases. Sales are expressed in number of cigarettes. The
relative price of cigarettes is the nominal price divided by the
Consumer Price Index.
RESULTS: The first step Veil Law (1976) blunted the steady increase in
cigarette sales observed since World War II.
The second period began with the Evin Law (1991). This law banned
tobacco advertising and withdrew tobacco from the Consumer Price Index
allowing for marked and repeated increases in taxes. Sales decreased
over the next 6 years, from 97.1 billion to 83.0 billion in 1997 but
then remained steady for 5 years (83.5 billion in 2001).
The first Cancer Plan (2003) imposed three tax increases in a year
(39% increase in price). Cigarette sales decreased to 54.9 billion in
This period ended in 2004 when a moratorium on tobacco taxes was
announced. The policies which have been implemented since President
Sarkozy was elected in 2007 were flawed and protected the interests of
the tobacco industry: prevalence of smoking is now increasing, mainly
among the younger generation.
Since 1991, the cigarette market has nearly halved but the decline has
been a stop-and-go erratic process. The two 5-year periods (1997-2002
and 2005 -2010) during which consumption leveled off seem to
demonstrate that government-driven health policies could have been
influenced by commercial interests.
CONCLUSION: Tobacco control efforts, especially tobacco tax increases,
need to be sustained and shielded from the influence of the tobacco

KEYWORDS: tobacco, public policy, Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control, France
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages