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This is how much Danes drink and smoke

New consumer statistics show Danes are buying more hard liquor and cigarettes than in previous years.

This is how much Danes drink and smoke
Liquor and cigarette sales were both up in 2015. Photo: Brian Bergmann/Scanpix
Danish consumers purchased some 45 million litres of pure alcohol in 2015, according to figures released by Statistics Denmark on Tuesday
 
The amount itself was basically the same as in 2014, but a further breakdown shows that sales of spirits were up slightly to 1.4 litres of pure alcohol per inhabitant, while sales of beer and wine were down. 
 
Beer and wine are still the Danes’ alcoholic beverages of choice, however. They account for 82 percent of all sales, while spirits account for 17.5 percent and so-called ‘alcopops’ made up just 0.7 percent of sales. 
 
“The 7.8 litres of pure alcohol that each Dane on average bought in 2015 is the equivalent of ten drinks per week, when one drink equals 1.5 centilitres of pure alcohol,” Statistics Denmark wrote. “That is a slight fall in comparison to 2010, when each resident purchased an average of 10.8 drinks per week.”
 
While alcohol sales were down, cigarette sales were up for the first time in five years. In 2015, there were 5.8 billion cigarettes sold in Denmark, a nearly three percent increase over the previous year. 
 
The Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) is due to release a new strategy later this month to phase out smoking nationwide. According to an internal document obtained by Politiken, the agency will propose increased tobacco levies, plain-label packaging for cigarettes and legislation that will force stores to place tobacco products out of plain view. 
 

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ALCOHOL

Danish 15-year-olds drink most alcohol in Europe

Danish 15-year-olds drink more frequently and are more likely to have been drunk than those from any other country in Europe, according to a new study by the World Health Organisation.

A reveller at the Roskilde Festival in 2014. Photo: David Leth Williams/Ritzau Scanpix
According to the report, 82 percent of Danish 15-year-olds have tried alcohol, compared to 59 percent on average over Europe as a whole. 
 
At the same time, 65 percent of Danish 15-year-olds said they had drunk alcohol in the preceding month, and 42 percent said they had been drunk at least once. That is roughly twice as many as on average in Europe. 
 
The study, which is carried out every fifth year, surveys 227,000 European school pupils aged, 11, 13, and 15. 
 
“The worrying story is that we had had some improvement in the alcohol data, but over the last four years, we have seen some tendencies in the wrong direction and that is probably why we are staying in the very bad end,” said Mette Rasmussen, who led the Danish part of the project at Denmark's National Institute of Public Health. 
 
 
“We have a social alcohol drinking culture in Denmark. Alcohol is a key thing in being together, when we meet with friends and go to parties, and that actually goes for both adults and adolescents,” she said. “At the same time we drink a lot, we binge drink.” 
 
She said that Denmark was also unusual in Europe for allowing those as young as 16 to buy alcohol, and in having relatively low prices for alcohol, compared to its Nordic neighbours at least. 
 
The Danish Institute of Public Health drew attention to the study, in a press release posted to its website. 
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