Despite a gradual decrease in the number of smokers over time, nearly a quarter of the population in the Czech Republic is still addicted to tobacco, according to a survey by the State Health Institute (SZÚ). Additionally, 10% of people use e-cigarettes, and 6.6% use heated tobacco products. Nicotine pouches, trendy among young individuals, are used by just under 3% of the population, with a noticeable increase in usage among young people.
Experts consider alternative cigarette options to be potentially less harmful, but they are concerned that these alternatives do not serve as substitutes for some users. Moreover, many young people are starting their nicotine consumption through these alternatives.
Around 10% of young individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 use nicotine pouches in various fruit flavors, attractive packaging, and can be used discreetly. However, if not regulated, these pouches can contain significant amounts of nicotine, warns Marie Nejedlá from the Public Health Support Center at SZÚ.
The number of young people using nicotine pouches has increased by a third over the past two years
The survey, which involved 1,784 respondents, also examined alcohol consumption, which has remained consistently high in the Czech Republic. 16% of people consume alcohol daily or every other day, while over 15% claim long-term abstinence.
Based on the survey data, the average annual alcohol consumption per person is estimated to be 7.2 liters of pure alcohol or 8.5 liters when excluding abstainers. These figures are comparable to the previous year’s data. In 2021, alcohol consumption amounted to 6.9 liters of pure alcohol, or 8.3 liters excluding abstainers.
Beer is the most preferred alcoholic beverage among men, while women prefer wine. Almost 47% of men consume beer weekly or more frequently, while just under a quarter of women reported the same frequency of wine consumption.
The survey confirms that although the proportion of smokers in the population is gradually decreasing, the overall behavior of Czech people regarding tobacco and alcohol has not significantly improved over the years, as stated by Minister of Health Vlastimil Válek on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, observed on May 31st.