Some 100 thousand fewer smokers

29/12/2003 10:00

Tobacco consumption in the Netherlands was substantially lower in 2002 than a few years ago, mainly because the percentage of smokers has fallen. The number of smokers was about 100 thousand lower in 2002 than in 1995.

Dutch population and smokers

Dutch population and smokers

Fewer smokers

In 1995 4.5 million people aged 16 years and older in the Netherlands smoked. This is the equivalent of 36 percent of the people in this age group.

Smoking behaviour changed somewhat in subsequent years, and by 2002 there were 4.4 million smokers, 100 thousand fewer than in 1995. The percentage fell by two points to nearly 34 percent of the population aged 16 years and older. The total number of people in this age group increased by just over 500 thousand to 12.9 million.

Yearly consumption of tobacco products

Yearly consumption of tobacco products

Consumption down

All packets of tobacco products in the Netherlands have a special tax sticker, and these stickers give a good insight into domestic tobacco consumption. They show that the consumption of cut tobacco (rolling and pipe tobacco) in particular dropped by nearly 15 percent in the period 1995–2002. For cigarettes the decrease was only 2 percent. The only product for which sales increased was cigars: consumption of cigars rose by 20 percent in this period. However, cigars account for less than one percent of total tobacco consumption in the Netherlands.

Domestic consumption of tobacco fell by a net 8 percent. The decrease was larger than that in the number of smokers, which means that smokers are smoking less on average than in 1995.

Volume of domestic production, consumption and exports

Volume of domestic production, consumption and exports

More production and exports

The production side of the tobacco industry shows a completely different picture. The volume of production, i.e. the amount of tobacco products produced, increased by 10 percent between 1995 and 2002. This means that the export market of tobacco products has become increasingly important. Indeed the volume of exports was 40 percent higher in 2002 than in 1995.

Cees Maas

Source: StatLine