Smoking and snus use among Finnish young males
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The Finnish Defence Forces, Finland
Finnish Lung Health Association, Finland
Cancer Society of Finland, Finland
National Institute for Health and Wellfare, Finland
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A240
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of cigarette, snus (Swedish type of smokeless tobacco) and dual use as well as transition from one tobacco product to another among a representative population of young Finnish males. In addition, we evaluated the correlation between educational level and the use of tobacco.

A questionnaire-based survey was carried out among military conscripts during their first week of service (n=1916, mean age 19.4; response rate 95%).The questionnaire consisted of 25 questions including age, gender, basic education, use of tobacco products and questions assessing nicotine dependency. The usage of electric cigarettes was asked but excluded from the analysis due to very low usage (1.4%).

In our survey, 34% (n=635) reported snus usage of which 42 % used snus daily (n=237, 14% of the whole study population). A quarter, 26% (n=486), of the study population smoked daily. A total of 40% (n=741) reported sporadic or regular cigarette usage. Every fifth, 21 % (n=402), of all conscripts reported simultaneous usage of cigarette and snus. The probability of dual usage was higher among smokers. 35% of former smokers reported daily snus use and 43 % of reported quitters in the snus-group were smoking daily. Smoking was common among study subjects with basic educational background of whom 57 % smoked daily. A similar association between snus users and the level of education could not be demonstrated. Signs of electric cigarettes as a replacement for tobacco or snus could not be demonstrated.

Exclusive snus use as well as dual use of cigarette and snus were significantly higher than expected. Educational level did not correlate with exclusive snus use.The notably high prevalence of snus usage seems to reflect the aspiring change of trend among tobacco consumers.