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France to push for 'no smoking November'

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France to push for 'no smoking November'
Photo: ~zipporah~/Flickr
17:53 CEST+02:00
France has launched a new campaign to try to cut down the high smoking rate across the country - which is especially high among pregnant women.
The Ministry of Health launched a new campaign on Thursday called "Moi(s) sans tabac" - a play on words that means both "Me without tobacco" and "A month with no smoking". 
 
The plan is to encourage smokers to quit for the month of November, and hopefully to never light up again by the time December arrives. 
 
The ministry noted that it was five times more likely that a smoker would quit for good after a month with no nicotine.
 
The campaign was inspired by a similar move in the UK - Stoptober - which sees smokers encouraged to quit for October. 
 
France is one of the worst countries in the OECD when it comes to smoking, with around 28 percent of people admitting to being a regular smoker. 
 
Meanwhile 20 percent of French mums admit to smoking while pregnant. 
 
Figures released last year by the National Institute of Prevention and Health Education (INPES) showed that nowhere in Europe do pregnant women smoke as much as they do in France.
 
Indeed, 17.8 percent of women smoke all the way into their third trimester of pregnancy. The figures prompted the French government to announce that cigarette packets in France would include a non-smoker pregnant woman pictogram (see below). 
 
The chemicals in cigarettes, which include cyanide and lead, pass into the smoker's bloodstream, which provides unborn children with their only source of oxygen and nutrients. These chemicals can cause stunted baby growth, premature births, and at worse - stillbirths.
 
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