Number of young smokers not decreasing in NL

The number of smokers between the ages of 20 and 24 years in the Netherlands is not decreasing. Last year 31 percent of young adults in this age group smoked, according to the Trimbos Institute. The Institute called this especially worrying, given that the total number of adult smokers decreased from 26 percent to 22 percent in the past five years, AD reports.

"That 31 percent remains consistently high and I am concerned about that," Mark Willemsen of the Trimbos Institute, which focuses on mental healthcare, addiction care, and social care, said to the newspaper. "It is especially important for this group to stop smoking because tobacco addiction continues to develop during this period. The longer they smoke the harder it is to stop again."

In this age group, there are mainly casual smokers. Relatively few young adults smoke every day. But according to the Trimbos Institute, statistics show that the number of daily smokers increase in the age group 25 to 29 years. It is therefore important to motivate young smokers to stop before they develop an addiction, Willemsen said. 

"Nearly one in three smokers said they made a serious attempt to quit in 2019. Young adults who didn't told us they think they need smoking to relax. This suggests an underlying problem, namely stress among young adults,"  Willemsen said.