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Denmark – Health Issues

Denmark is a small country in Northern Europe, known for its high standard of living and progressive social policies. Like most countries, Denmark faces its share of health challenges. In this article, we will explore some of the common health issues affecting the Danish population and the country’s approach to smoking.

Common Health Issues in Denmark


Obesity is a growing problem in Denmark, as it is in many other countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2016, 20.6% of the Danish population was considered obese, and 48.1% were overweight. The prevalence of obesity in Denmark has increased significantly over the past few decades, and it is now considered one of the major public health challenges facing the country.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Denmark, accounting for approximately 30% of all deaths. The incidence of cardiovascular disease in Denmark has been decreasing in recent years, which is likely due to improvements in prevention and treatment.


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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Denmark, accounting for approximately 25% of all deaths. The most common types of cancer in Denmark are lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.

Mental Health

Mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, are a growing concern in Denmark. According to the National Institute of Public Health, approximately 400,000 Danes suffer from depression or anxiety, and the prevalence is increasing.

Smoking in Denmark

Smoking Prevalence

Smoking is not as common in Denmark as it is in many other countries. According to the Danish Health Authority, in 2020, 12.4% of the Danish population smoked daily, and an additional 4.4% smoked occasionally. The smoking prevalence in Denmark has decreased significantly over the past few decades, thanks in part to strong public health campaigns and strict tobacco control policies.

Attitudes Towards Smoking

Attitudes towards smoking in Denmark have become increasingly negative in recent years. According to a survey conducted by the Danish Health Authority in 2020, 77% of Danes believe that smoking is socially unacceptable, and 68% believe that smoking should be banned in all public places.


Denmark has some of the strictest tobacco control policies in the world. In 2007, Denmark became the first country in the world to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. In addition, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants, and workplaces. The use of smokeless tobacco, such as snus, is also banned in Denmark.

In 2019, Denmark implemented a new tobacco control law that included several additional measures, such as:

  • Requiring plain packaging for tobacco products
  • Banning the sale of tobacco products in vending machines
  • Banning the sale of flavored tobacco products
  • Increasing taxes on tobacco products

Denmark, like all countries, faces a range of health challenges. Obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mental health issues are among the most common health issues facing the Danish population. However, Denmark has also made significant progress in addressing some of these challenges, particularly with regards to smoking. The country’s strict tobacco control policies have helped to reduce smoking prevalence and change attitudes towards smoking, making Denmark a leader in tobacco control.