Dutch youth’s smoking behaviour during a partial covid-19 lockdown

  • Tessa R.D. van Deelen
    Department of Public Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Bas van den Putte
    Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Anton E. Kunst
    Department of Public Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Mirte A. G. Kuipers
    Department of Public Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Previous research found that adult smokers increased their smoking in response to the Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020. This study explored changes in youth’s smoking during, compared to before, the partial lockdown in the Netherlands in a cross-sectional sample of 287 adolescents. Smoking prevalence increased from 4.5% to 5.2%. Cigarette consumption remained the same on school days and increased with +1.9 cigarettes per weekend day. The largest increase in cigarette consumption on weekend days was observed for adolescents who 1) did not consider smoking a risk factor for contracting Covid-19 (+4.5), 2) had smoking siblings (+4.1), and 3) had smoking friends (+2.4). Youth without smoking friends (-0.8) and who considered smoking a risk factor for Covid-19 (-0.2) decreased their cigarette consumption.


VO-raad [Internet]. [Laatste nieuws rondom coronavirus en onderwijs (Latest news on coronavirus and education)]. VO-raad; 2020.

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) [Internet]. [Resultaten onderzoek gedragsregels en welbevinden (Results of behavioural research and well-being)]. Available from: https://www.rivm.nl/gedragsonderzoek/maatregelen-welbevinden

Sidor A, Rzymski P. Dietary Choices and Habits during COVID-19 Lockdown: Experience from Poland. Nutrients 2020;12:1657. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061657

Cancello R, Soranna D, Zambra G, et al. Determinants of the lifestyle changes during COVID-19 pandemic in the residents of Northern Italy. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020;17:6287. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176287

Klemperer EM, West JC, Peasley-Miklus C, Villanti AC. Change in tobacco and electronic cigarette use and motivation to quit in response to COVID-19. Nicotine Tob Res 2020;22:1662-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntaa072

Wong EC, Haardörfer R, Windle M, Berg CJ. Distinct motives for use among polytobacco versus cigarette only users and among single tobacco product users. Nicotine Tob Res 2017;2:117-23. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntw284

Piko BF, Varga S, Wills TA. A study of motives for tobacco and alcohol use among high school students in Hungary. J Community Health 2015;40:744-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-015-9993-4

Creamer MR, Delk J, Case K, et al. Positive outcome expectations and tobacco product use behaviors in youth. Subst Use Misuse 2018;53:1399-402. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2017.1404104

Bahr SJ, Hoffmann JP, Yang X. Parental and peer influences on the risk of adolescent drug use. J Prim Prev 2005;26:529-51. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-005-0014-8

Kuntz B, Lampert T. Social disparities in parental smoking and young children’s exposure to secondhand smoke at home: a time-trend analysis of repeated cross-sectional data from the German KiGGS study between 2003-2006 and 2009-2012. BMC Public Health 2016;16:485. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3175-x

Lippi G, Sanchis-Gomar F, Henry BM. Active smoking and COVID-19: a double-edged sword. Eur J Intern Med 2020;77:123-4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2020.04.060

Bommele J, Hopman P, Walters BH, et al. The double-edged relationship between COVID-19 stress and smoking: implications for smoking cessation. Tob Induc Dis 2020;18:63. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18332/tid/125580

Stanton R, To QG, Khalesi S, et al. Depression, anxiety and stress during COVID-19: Associations with changes in physical activity, sleep, tobacco and alcohol use in Australian adults. Int J Environl Res Public Health 2020;17:4065. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114065

Götzinger F, Santiago-García B, Noguera-Julián A, et al. COVID-19 in children and adolescents in Europe: a multinational, multicentre cohort study. Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020;4:653-61. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30177-2

Mantovani A, Rinaldi E, Zusi C, et al. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children and/or adolescents: a meta-analysis. Pediatr Res 2021;89:733-7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-020-1015-2

Montaño DE, Kasprzyk D. Theory of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavioral model. In: K Glanz, BK Rimer, KV Viswanath, Editors. Health behavior: Theory, research, and practice. Hoboken: J. Wiley & Sohns. Inc.; 2015. p. 95-124.