It was found that 38% of French teens (aged 15 or 16) said they had smoked at least one cigarette in the past month, up from 30% in 2007. The Europe-wide average is 28%.
Some 100,000 young people in 36 countries were polled by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
France had the sixth highest teenage smoking rate, behind Latvia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro and Ireland.
A recent study by the French anti-smoking body CNCT found that thousands of tobacconists were illegally selling cigarettes to children as young as 12.