Cigarette smoking represents a huge burden for healthcare systems in any country. Ms Kristina Mauer-Stender, Program Manager for Tobacco Control in WHO Regional Office for Europe stated that tobacco use is not a choice: “It is a powerful addiction. The true choice is between tobacco and health”.
Facts about tobacco use:
• Tobacco kills up to half of its users
• Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year
• The annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030
(World Health Organization, 2013).
Countries are at different stages in controlling and addressing tobacco use. This is related significantly to their political and socioeconomic conditions. Poorer and developing countries have far less government control measures in place. France has high rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease (Fried and Gaydos 2012). They were quick to adopt the WHO Tobacco Control ban; however, tobacco use continues to rise (Fried and Gaydos 2012).
How does France, as a leader in healthcare, address their challenges to smoking prevention and cessation? This study will attempt to discover the obstacles that prevent France from meeting this demand and achieving success in addressing this healthcare crisis.
The purpose of this research is to uncover strategies and identify socioeconomic factors that contribute to successful management of this problem within this nation’s political influence. The resistance or delay of French government to take more aggressive action to control tobacco use contributes to the overall financial burden to its citizens. Investigation is needed into the relationship between the tobacco companies, the economic climate of the country, and the recent actions taken by the government, and the effects of all on the prevalence of tobacco use. What impact has the recent government actions had on the prevalence of smoking in France? When will the effects of government regulations be seen in the outcomes?
The history of France and the solidarity theme molded the socialistic appearance of French healthcare. When compare to the United States, the French value individual rights yet are caught in the tension between those rights and social equality (Dutton, 2012). They also focus on the care of the poor and the chronically ill. French people with a diagnosis from one of thirty chronic diseases are exempt from insurance copayments (Fried and Gaydos 2012). There is a high rate of smoking in France, which does not seem to be decreasing. In fact, the smoking rate has increased since the law restricting smoking in public places. Perhaps the reason for this increase, or lack of response, is related to the French government’s lack of involvement with personal choice (Fried and Gaydos 2012).
Statistics indicate 32% of men and 26% of women smoke daily (World Health Organization, 2013).
The French people value individual liberty and equality, but they do not consider themselves socialists. They value...