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Danish smoking habits 2020

English summary of the Danish report 'Danskernes Rygevaner 2020 - delrapport 1: Nikotinafhængighed | Danish Smoking Habits 2020 - sub-report 1: Nicotine addiction

15 MAR 2021

See Danskernes Rygevaner 2020 – delrapport 1: Nikotinafhængighed - in Danish

This report outlines the status of the Danish smoking habits in 2020. The results are based on a survey with self-report questionnaires answered by 13.785 Danish citizens at the age of 15-79 years. The survey is conducted in a collaboration between the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen), the Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse), the Danish Heart Foundation (Hjerteforeningen), and the Danish Lung Association (Lungeforeningen).

This report shows that 21 % use at least one nicotine product and 18 % smoke tobacco daily or occasionally. Overall, 13 % of the respondents smoke tobacco daily, 6 % smoke tobacco occasionally and 30 % have previously smoked tobacco. The prevalence of daily tobacco smoking is higher among men (15 %) than women (11 %) and more prevalent among those with primary school (21 %) as the highest completed level of education, compared with respondents who have completed high school/vocational education (15 %) and higher education (7 %). Most respondents (70 %), that smoke tobacco, began smoking regularly before the age of 18 years.

Overall, the proportion of respondents who smoke cigarettes daily and occasionally has slightly decreased in the period 2019 (20 %) to 2020 (18 %). There appears to have been a decline in smoking (daily/occasional) among both sexes and in the age groups 15-29 years and 30-59 years. The proportion of daily smoking among persons with a primary or secondary/vocational education, as the highest completed education, has also declined.

Respondents who smoke cigarettes with special characteristics most often use light cigarettes (33 %). With the ban that came into force the 20 May 2020 that outlaws menthol as characteristic aroma in cigarettes and other tobaccos, the proportion of users of this type of cigarette have declined in the period 2019 to 2020 (20 % to 13 %).

In total, 3 % use e-cigarettes; 2 % daily and 1 % occasionally. Further, 3 % have previously used e-cigarettes. The most reported reasons for using e-cigarettes include “wish to stop or reduce the amount of smoking tobacco” and because they believe it’s less harmful than tobacco. Additionally, 3 % of the respondents used smokeless tobacco, 1 % used nicotine pouches, and 1 % used heated tobacco products. In the period 2019 to 2020, the use of e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, nicotine pouches and heated tobacco is unchanged. In total, 31% of the respondents that either smoke tobacco, use e-cigarettes, and/or smokeless tobacco state that they experience being highly nicotine-dependent, and 36 % experience that they are slightly nicotine-dependent. Respondents who smoke tobacco daily experience more nicotine dependence than other user groups, where respondents who use smokeless tobacco and heated tobacco experience less nicotine dependence. I total, no changes in the perception of nicotine dependence were observed in the period 2019 to 2020. However, divided into groups of users, there have been changes, although this pattern is not clear. E.g. among daily tobacco smokers, English summary Danskernes Rygevaner 2020 – delrapport 1: Nikotinafhængighed 8 there has been a decrease in the proportion who experience being a little nicotine dependent, while among e-cigarettes users there has been an increase.

Among all respondents, 6 % report that tobacco smoking occurs indoors at the workplace, and 6 % report that e-cigarettes occur. About half of the respondents report that smoking is prohibited indoors (46 %) and 19 % state that there are smoke-free working hours at their workplace. In the period 2019 to 2020, there have been no changes in indoor smoking at work, although there has been an increase in respondents stating smoke-free working hours at their workplace.

In total, 15 % report indoor tobacco smoking in their home. This occurs more among men than women, among older than younger, and among respondents with primary school as the highest completed education as well as less with children living at home. In the period 2019 to 2020, there have been no major changes, however, there is a small decrease among respondents with primary school, as the highest completed education and among the age group 30-59 years.