HEALTH

French reveal drinking, smoking and gambling habits during lockdown

Despite the absence of festive events, around one in ten French people said they drank more during lockdown.
Despite the absence of festive events, around one in ten French people said they drank more during lockdown. AFP

Ten percent of French people drank more alcohol during the country’s coronavirus lockdown as a result of stress and boredom, figures from the national drugs watchdog show.

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In its “inventory of addictions” during the nationwide shutdown that confined 67 million French to their homes between 17 March and 11 May, the Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) said the news was both good and bad.   

A quarter of drinkers reportedly reduced their alcohol consumption during lockdown, while two-thirds (65 percent) reported consumption levels similar to their pre-confinement days.

But despite the absence of festive events and opportunities to drink in bars or restaurants, around one in ten people said they drank more – either to alleviate anxiety or simply for pleasure.  

Meanwhile for smokers, one in five cut down on the number of cigarettes during the confinement period, while the majority (55 percent) maintained a stable level.

A quarter of smokers, however, admitted to having increased their tobacco consumption. 

On the gambling side, online poker games got a significant boost, recording the highest turnover ever for a quarter-year period.

There were nearly half a million active players per week on average in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 264,000 during the same timeframe last year. 

Not only that, the average spending of each player also skyrocketed, rising to 134 euros compared with 99 euros last year.  

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