1 million French smokers kick habit in just 1 year

PARIS, France (WPVI) -- One-million smokers in France have reportedly kicked the habit.

And that was just in a one-year span, from 2016 to 2017.

Health officials there say they haven't seen a drop like this in a decade, according to Public Health France, which carried out the study.

There has also been a decline in smoking among teenagers and those on low incomes.

The study pointed to a variety of anti-smoking measures introduced to France as a likely reason for the decline.

In recent years, cigarettes have been forced to use neutral packaging and significantly raise prices.

There have also been reimbursements for people using tobacco substitutes, and campaigns like the national tobacco-free month.

A study last year found that despite decades of tobacco control policies, population growth had meant there was an increased number of smokers.

Worldwide, smoking causes one in 10 deaths, half of them in just four countries - China, India, the US and Russia, according to the Lancet, a British medical journal.

The World Health Organization says picture warnings are particularly effective in encouraging smokers to quit.

The U.S. has seen a slow decline in smoking rates, which stood at 15.5% in 2016.

Philadelphia has the nation's highest rate of adult smoking of the nation's 10 largest cities, at 25.2%.
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