The Number of Smoking Women in France is Growing

Published on December 17th, 2010 12:14

The rate of smokers and exposure to smoking among French men has been reduced by around 15% within nearly two decades; however during the same period that rate has grown among French women, according to a study by the MONICA (MONItoring trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease), a French public health group working with the World Health Organization.

The study states opposite smoking trends contribute to changes in coronary disease death rates in France. Since 1985 the study found a decline in death rate among men by up to 15 percent and an increase among French smoking women by nearly 3 percent.

Smoking Women in France

The study carried out by the MONICA research team was published in the latest issue of the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. The object of the study was to estimate tendencies in adult smoking habits during three different time periods and in three distinct regions across France and their possible contribution to coronary heart disease mortality levels.

The study is based on detailed surveys of middle-aged adults in three different geographical areas of France: the Lille community, the Bas-Rhin department and the Haute-Garonne. The surveys were carried out in 1985-87, 1995-97 and 2005-07, and comprised almost 10,000 subjects.

People were surveyed about past or current tobacco use, the number of cigarettes used each day, age of taking up the habit, possible attempts to give up the habit, levels of exposure to tobacco smoke and other questions related to tobacco use. Collected responses provided a detailed picture of smoking tendencies in France in the past 20 years, and data by which the relation between tobacco use and heart disease death risk may be suggested.

The study discovered:

  • A substantial decline in current tobacco consumers among men from 40 percent to 24.3 percent within the past twenty years.
  • Age of smoking initiation among men remained at the same level - around 17.5 years – within the past 20 years.
  • The rate of non-smokers among men, who never tried smoking, grew from 24.7% up to 38.2%.
  • A small rise in tobacco use among women from 18.9 percent up to 20 percent within the past twenty years.
  • The rate of non-smokers among women, who never tried smoking, went down dramatically from 72.4 percent to 54.6 percent.
  • Age of smoking initiation among women men dropped from 21.4 years to 18.8 years during the last 20 years.

Commenting on the results of the nationwide study, the scientists said that the prevalence of male smokers has been evident during the past 60 years, and currently is tending to decrease, while women only began smoking in large numbers in the last 30 years.

The study can be used as an explanation of the decrease in mortality rate from coronary heart disease among men over the past twenty years, but not reported in women, however scientists admitted that the other factors have also contributed to the changes in heart disease mortality rates.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Related tags: smokers | women smoking | health | stop smoking | health warnings

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