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Changing patterns of tobacco use in a middle-aged population: the role of snus, gender, age, and education
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. (Arcum)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2475-7131
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3036-8546
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2011 (English)In: Global Health Action, ISSN 1654-9716, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 4, 5613- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background In Sweden, the smoking prevalence has declined. In 2007, it was among the lowest in the industrialized world. A steady increase in the use of Swedish oral moist snuff, snus, has occurred in parallel. This development is neither solicited by authorities nor the medical establishment, but rather has occurred along with increased awareness of the dangers of smoking, and has been promoted by product development and marketing of snus.

Objective To evaluate time trends in patterns of tobacco use in northern Sweden during 1990–2007.

Design Cross-sectional (99,381 subjects) and longitudinal (26,867 subjects) data from the Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP) 1990–2007 were analyzed. All adults in Västerbotten County are invited to a VIP health examination at ages 40, 50, and 60 years, and until 1995 also 30 years. Smoking and use of snus were evaluated by gender, age and educational groups. Intermittent smoking was categorized as smoking.

Results From the period 1990–1995 to the period 2002–2007, smoking prevalence decreased from 26 to 16% among men and from 27 to 18% among women. The differences in prevalence increased between educational groups. The decline in smoking was less and the increase of snus use was greater among those with basic education. The use of snus among basic-educated 40-year-olds reached 35% among men and 14% among women during 2002–2007. Dual smoking and snus use increased among men and women with basic education. Smoking without snus use was more prevalent among women. Gender differences in total smoking prevalence (smoking only plus dual use) were small in all age groups, but increased among those with basic education reaching 7.3% during 2002–2007, with women being more frequent smokers. Smoking prevalences were similar among never, former and current snus users. Among the 30,000 former smokers, 38% of men and 64% of women had never used snus. Longitudinal data showed a decline in total tobacco use from baseline until follow-up and this was mainly due to a smoking cessation rate of<1% a year. Snus use was started by 6.2% of the 30-year-old women (age at baseline), and this contributed to a stable prevalence of total tobacco use in this group. Seventy percent of baseline snus users still used snus at follow-up. Among smokers, 55% continued smoking, 12% of men and 7% of women switched to snus. Among those with dual tobacco use at baseline, a third of men and a fourth of women remained dual users 10 years later.

Conclusion There are increasing differences in tobacco use between educational groups. Higher smoking and snus use prevalence are found among those with basic education, and this is most pronounced in the younger group of this middle-aged population. In spite of a higher prevalence of smoking without snus use among women, total smoking prevalence is similar in men and women due to a higher prevalence of dual tobacco use, i.e. snus and cigarettes, among men. The increase in snus use is being paralleled by a slight increase in dual use and the smoking prevalence does not seem to be influenced by snus. This should be the subject of further studies and also have implications for tobacco control policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 4, 5613- p.
Keyword [en]
tobacco, prevalence, smoking, smokeless tobacco, Swedish moist snuff, snus, socioeconomic factors/education
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45727DOI: 10.3402/gha.v4i0.5613PubMedID: 21695071OAI: diva2:434375

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Available from: 2011-08-15 Created: 2011-08-15 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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