During the corona crisis, young people started smoking more than before. This is shown by research by independer based on data from the GGD and the RIVM. With ‘Stoptober’ in sight, this is a worrying development, according to healthcare expert Bas Knopperts.
In 2021, 1 in 40 young people smoked a cigarette or shag daily. That means that during the corona crisis, the number of 12 to 16-year-olds who smoke daily has increased by almost 40 percent, the report writes. independer. Among 16-year-olds specifically, the number has almost doubled.
In addition, the percentage of ‘occasionally smoking young people’ has also increased. They light a cigarette every now and then. One in ten 12- to 16-year-olds, when surveyed, said they had smoked at least one cigarette in the past month, a quarter more than before the corona crisis.
This is a worrying development, because in recent years there has been a decline in the figures. Bas Knopperts, care expert at independer, is shocked by these figures: ,,Great strides have been made in recent years to make smoking cessation easier,’ says Knopperts. “There are all kinds of free tools available. Professional guidance is also fully reimbursed from the basic insurance. There has also been no deductible for two years. Help to stop does not actually cost you any money.”
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More smoking girls
Girls in particular have started smoking more, the figures show. The proportion of girls who smoke daily has increased by 56.3 percent, compared to only 25 percent among boys. This trend can also be seen among occasional smokers. At 39.7 percent, the number of occasional smokers increased much more among girls than among boys (7.4 percent).
The largest outliers in terms of region are the Frisian villages of Dantumadiel and Achtkarspelen, and Pekela in Groningen also stands out. There, one in five students indicated that they had lit at least one cigarette in the past week.
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