France to push for ‘no smoking November’

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.

France to push for 'no smoking November'
Photo: ~zipporah~/Flickr
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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Marseille becomes latest French city to declares its beaches a no-smoking zone

The French city of Marseille has made its beaches no-smoking zones after a successful trial last summer.

Marseille becomes latest French city to declares its beaches a no-smoking zone
From Saturday, smoking will be banned on Marseille's four main beaches. Photo: AFP

From Saturday, August 15th, smoking will be banned on the city's Borély, Bonneveine, Pointe-Rouge and Prophète beaches until October 31st.

The city ran a trial smoking ban on beaches last summer, but now local authorities are bringing back the ban for the summer season.


It joins La Rochelle, where smoking on the beach was banned last year, while several French cities including Paris and Strasbourg have introduced smoking bans in some parks.

Marseille's Premier Adjoint Benoît Payan said that as well as the health problems of passive smoking, especially for children, cigarettes were a pollution hazard.

He tweeted: “Just one cigarette can pollute 500l of water.”

READ ALSO Will park and beach bans lead to France stubbing out its smoking habit?