Decrease in smoking and drinking in 2020

cigarette, smoker
Photo credit: Irina Iriser (Unsplash)

Statistics Netherlands has reported that the number of smokers and excessive drinkers in the Netherlands decreased in 2020. In 2019, 22 per cent of people in the Netherlands aged over 18 said that they smoke at least occasionally. In 2020, that figure was only 20 per cent.

The number of daily smokers remained roughly the same, at 15 per cent of the adult population, but the number of occasional smokers decreased significantly.

In 2019, 8.5 per cent of the adult population identified as excessive drinkers. In 2020, this figure was only 7 per cent. Statistics Netherlands defines excessive drinkers as men who consume more than 21 units of alcohol per week, and women who consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

The findings come from a National Health Survey conducted in collaboration with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction was also involved.

The Dutch government aims to reduce smoking and excessive alcohol consumption to 5% of the population by 2040.


The survey also gave some worrying figures about obesity. It found that half of Dutch adults are overweight, and 13.9 per cent are severely overweight or obese.


Source: Statistics Netherlands

Written by: Rachael Vickerman

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