Youth and the Use of Nicotine Products
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Danish Health Authority, Denmark
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Hanne Vibjerg
Danish Health Authority, Denmark
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A89
From 2010 to 2021 the use of smokeless products went from around 2% to 11.4% among youth in Denmark. The latter years also including nicotine pouches. The increase is seen with both boys and girls and across demographics and background. Many - especially minors - start using nicotine products, even though they have never smoked cigarettes. Denmark is also seeing a rise in the use of single-use vapes among minors.

Material and Methods:
The presentation is based on data from the Danish Youth Survey called §RØG – a study of tobacco, behavior, and regulations which is carried out by the National Institute of Public Health. It is a nationwide survey which follows the development of young people's tobacco and nicotine consumption as well as evaluates the effect of legislative initiatives. It is also based on two reports from 2022 published by the Danish Health Authority. The purpose of the reports was to learn more about how young people perceive smokeless nicotine products and the parent’s knowledge and attitude towards use among youth - respectively.

Danish monitoring shows us that it is important to constantly check, if we are asking the right questions and reporting correctly on the data. For instance, we know from §RØG that young people in Denmark do not use the term “nicotine pouches”, but use the term “snus” or other slang for all smokeless oral products regardless of the content. Approx. 80% of the youth reporting using snus, also reported a nicotine pouch brand as their main brand. The reports with youth and parents showed that the knowledge level for nicotine products are low. The young people do not regard them as harmful and the parents did not know much about the products at all. One of the outcomes has been that the Danish Health Authority report on all smokeless tobacco and nicotine products as “smokeless nicotine products” instead of per product type. It was also decided to carry out an awareness campaign targeting teenage parents. The campaign was launched in December 2022.

If we want report correctly in data, we have to know what the users are calling the products. If we want parents to play an active role in tobacco and nicotine prevention we have to make sure that they know about the products, the prevalence and the harm that these products can cause.

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