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IMAGE: Professor Cecilie Svanes is leading a project in EU-project ALEC view more 

Credit: Eivind Senneset

“Since 1970, campaigns against smoking seem to have been largely successful, but the message has not been able to reach the youngest ages,” says professor Cecilie Svanes at Centre for International Health at The University of Bergen (UiB).

The researchers in the large EU research project ALEC, have studied the age of 120 000 persons from 17 European countries. One of the questions asked the ALEC participants was when they started smoking between 1970 and 2009.

The data showed that all age groups have experienced a decline in the numbers starting smoking in this time span, except for the age group 11 – 15 years old, especially during the last 10 years.

The results showed that smoking increased most amongst young women in Western Europe, where 40 per 1000 start smoking every year, compared to 20 in 1970. For young men in Northern Europe, the numbers have remained relatively constant.

The study is published in PLOS ONE. Svanes is co-writer and partner in the EU-project.

The younger the age, the stronger the addiction

Svanes points out that earlier studies have shown that nicotine

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