The intake of saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K and cyclamate was assessed in 212 Italian teenagers aged 13-19 in 1996. Total daily intake of intense sweeteners was assessed on the basis of dietary records (14 consecutive days). The sweetener content of sugar-free products (soft drinks, candies, chewing gums, yoghurts, jam and table-top sweeteners) was provided by manufacturers. Sugar-free products were consumed by 77% of the subjects. Mean daily intake among consumers was 0.24 mg/kg body weight (bw) for cyclamate (13 subjects), 0.21 mg/kg bw for saccharin (9 subjects), 0.03 mg/kg bw for aspartame (162 subjects), and 0.02 mg/kg bw for acesulfame K (56 subjects). No subject exceeded the ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) of an intense sweetener. Projections based on the present levels of use of intense sweeteners in sugar-free products and on the dietary pattern observed in the sample suggest that approaching the ADI could be possible only if subjects with high intakes of both soft drinks and table-top sugar substituted these items with respectively sugar-free beverages and table-top sweeteners containing either saccharin or cyclamate.