Trends in use of alcohol and cigarettes among Danish adolescents, 2002–2018: exclusive and dual use

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Many young adolescents experiment with substance use which can have substantial health implications later in life. This study examined trends in substance use among Danish adolescents from 2002 to 2018, including exclusive and dual current use of alcohol and cigarettes. Data on 13-and 15-year-olds (N = 15,295) from five comparable cross-sectional Health Behavior in Schoolaged Children (HBSC) surveys were used. Cochran-Armitage test for trend assessed the development in substance use patterns over time. Overall, a decreasing trend in current use of alcohol and cigarettes was found among Danish adolescents during the 16-year study period: from 71.7% in 2002 to 51.6% in 2018. In 2018, most adolescents (41.8%) currently used alcohol exclusively, 8.6% had a dual current use of cigarettes and alcohol, and 1.3% smoked cigarettes exclusively. Trends in alcohol use differed according to age groups, while no gender-specific trends in substance use were found. Findings suggest that a significant prevention potential in adolescent substance use remains, and future initiatives may focus on dual use of substances as well as tailored efforts to specific subgroups in high risk of using substances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3490
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarette
  • Dual use
  • Smoking
  • Substance use
  • Tobacco
  • Trends


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