Languedoc top for booze and cigs

Study of French smoking and drinking habits puts the south of France at the top

LANGUEDOC-Roussillon is top of the league for smoking and drinking in France.

A survey by the health group Inpes ((Institut national de prévention et d'éducation pour la santé) found 17% of people aged 15-75 drank alcohol every day and 35% smoked. It also has the highest rate of drunkenness.

Regular use of cannabis in the region was three points higher than the rest of France, as was experimentation with the drug, which is nine points higher than average.

At the other end of the scale, was the Limousin, where daily alcohol consumption has dropped 5.5 points to 11%.

The survey found a shift in drinking habits across the country between 2005 and 2010: a drop in regular, daily, drinking (11% compared to 15%) but a rise in incidents of drunkenness (19% compared to 15%).

The number of smokers rose two percentage points to 29% over the same period, while the number regularly smoking cannabis stayed the same.

In terms of daily alcohol drinking, Languedoc is followed by the Midi-Pyrénées, Pays-de-Loire and Nord-Pas-de-Calais with 13 %.

For smoking, the next heaviest smokers are in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (33%), Aquitaine (32%), Alsace (25%) and the Pays-de-la-Loire (26%).

While Brittany’s level of regular alcohol consumption and smoking were nothing startling, the region appears to be one of France’s most experimental, with 36% admitting trying cannabis against a national average of 32%.

Furthermore 7% had tried poppers (amyl nitrate) and 5% had tried each of magic mushrooms, cocaine and ecstasy. (The anonymous survey does not reveal if it is the same 5% in each).

Photo: Flickr/Maarten van Maanen