France: Breaking The Habit

Breaking The Habit

Of all national stereotypes, one of the most enduring is of the Frenchman squinting through the smoke of the Gauloise affixed to the corner of his mouth, holding a glass of dark red wine in his hand. Last week the government declared war on that image. The Ministry of Health warned that 300 French men and women every day die prematurely from excessive smoking and drinking.

Per capita alcohol consumption in France is among the world's highest, and studies show that deaths from lung cancer among men have increased 366% since 1950. The government plans to introduce laws in parliament to...

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