Smoking down but nicotine use up among Danish youth

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Smoking down but nicotine use up among Danish youth
Disposable vaping devices have become more popular among young Danes. File photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

The use of nicotine products has soared among young people in Denmark in recent years even as cigarette consumption declines.


Nicotine products such as snus, nicotine pouches, and vaping devices have become more popular among young people in Denmark in recent years, with fully 35.1 percent of 15- to 29-year-olds using them daily or regularly, up from 26.3 percent as recently as 2020. 

Use of cigarettes fell from 20.1 percent to 19 percent over the period while use of smokefree nicotine products rose from 9.1 percent to 12.9 percent. 


The numbers come from a study carried out by Denmark's National Institute of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark on behalf of the Danish Health Authority. 

They represent a “marked increase” in nicotine use according to Nanna Jarlstrup, one of the researchers behind the report.

“We also found that it is especially newer products such as vaping devices and smoke-free nicotine products that seem to be especially popular among very young people. That is naturally concerning,” she said.

While the figures for increased consumption cover all age groups, smoke-free products are most popular among 18-24 year-olds, with 17.4 percent using them daily or occasionally.

“We are also unfortunately seeing use of some of the illegal products increasing. That is, for example, the new disposable vapes, puff bars,” Jarlstrup said.

Puff bars are a form of vaping device which do not contain tobacco but do have a high nicotine content and have a candy or sweet taste.

They are “very popular” in the youngest age group according to Jarlstrup.

“It’s not legal to sell them in Denmark but we can see young people have access to them, because they use them,” she said.

Although fewer people aged 18-24 smoke cigarettes daily or occasionally compared to 2020, the number of people aged 15-17 who smoke has gone up, researchers found.

Denmark has in recent years introduced a number of measures aimed at discouraging young people from smoking.

These include banning smoking during school and further education hours and removing cigarettes from display in stores.

The price of a packet of cigarettes was increased to 60 kroner on January 1st this year.

The data is based on a survey sent to young people in autumn 2022, with some 9,369 responding.


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