The “No Tobacco Month”, organized each year in Europe in November to encourage smokers to stop, began on Wednesday in a context where the operation is regaining popularity but where the political world is also criticized for a lack of actions against smoking.
“This operation, now unmissable in November, encourages smokers to quit smoking for 30 days and already has more than 92,000 registered“, announced the French Public Health agency in a press release.
A campaign that is regaining popularity
No Tobacco Month has returned every November since 2016, with health authorities following the model of a similar operation in the United Kingdom. Alongside the challenge itself, several supports are offered, including a dedicated number (39 89) and kits available in pharmacies.
The advantage is twofold. The smoker is not alone in trying to quit, since he knows that many other people are participating in the challenge.
And if he lasts the whole month, it is a sufficient duration to give him a good chance of not starting smoking again later, while tobacco remains the leading cause of avoidable mortality, killing 75,000 people in Europe each year. year.
The operation had lost popularity at the turn of the 2020s, with experts explaining this loss of steam by the effects of the Covid crisis as well as a lack of renewal.
Last year, however, the number of participants rebounded to more than 160,000, a level not seen since the start of the Covid years.
Politicians criticized for their inaction
The fact remains that this year, the operation takes place in a context where political representatives – majority and opposition – are criticized by certain anti-smoking associations. They criticize them for lacking voluntarism.
The deputies are notably accused by the Alliance Against Tobacco of being “absent subscribers” because none of them supported a new increase in tobacco taxes.
“Even more serious, the vast majority of amendments concerning tobacco taxation aim to weaken the fight against smoking“, regrets the association in a press release. “Several MPs are therefore calling for a cap on the inflation indexation of tobacco products.“.