Current and former tobacco use
The data pool contained 6262 respondents. 22.8% of these were daily smokers and 8.6% occasional smokers at the time of the interview. There were no significant gender differences in this pattern. 19.5% of all respondents reported former daily smoking, but no current smoking, while 7.5% were former occasional smokers. 41.6% had never smoked. 4,8% of all respondents used snus on a daily basis at the time of the survey, while 3,9% were occasional snus users. Snus use was most prevalent among men: 9.2% of male respondents reported daily use of snus at the time of the interview, compared to 0.4% of females (Table 1). 78.3% of all current daily smokers (N = 1430) had attempted to quit smoking at least once in their smoking career (not in table).
Frequency of use of methods for quitting smoking
In total, about one in four former daily smokers or current daily smokers with quit attempts (ever daily smokers with quit attempts) reported use of any of the methods asked about for quitting smoking, with men being slightly more likely to have used one than women. Of the methods for quitting smoking that was asked about, snus was the most common used by men: 14.5% of all male former daily smokers and 17.9% of current daily smokers with quit attempts had used snus at their latest attempt to quit. NRT was the most common method of those enquired about used by women: 8.8% of all female former smokers and 18.8% of current smokers with quit attempts had used NRT on their latest attempt to quit. For both men and women, NRT had been used twice as often among current smokers with quit attempts as among former smokers (Table 2).
Snus had been used as an aid for cessation at the latest quit attempt by 4.3% of men who had quit before 1977, by almost 10% of men who had quit during the following two decades, and by 23.6% of the most recent quitters. Whilst the use of NRT was slightly higher than the use of snus among men who had quit between 1988-97, almost three times as many men had used snus (23,6%) than NRT (8,1%) among those who had quit the last decades. Among women, NRT was the most common method used for cessation since it was introduced on the market in Norway in the mid eighties (Table 3).
Characteristics of respondents who had used snus or NRT to aid cessation
While 16% of all male former smokers or current smokers with quit attempts had used snus on their most recent quit attempt, only 1.9% of all female former and current smokers had done so. Around half of all male former smokers or current smokers with quit attempts between the ages of 15 and 24 (OR 1.00) had used snus to aid their last attempt to quit, one out of four between the ages of 25 and 44 (OR = 0.40, 95% CI 0.20-0.80), and only 7.3% above the age of 45(OR = 0. 14, 95% CI 0.07-0.28). 5,6% of those who were not using snus at the time of the interview (OR = 1.00) had used it to quit smoking, while 78% of all current snus users had (OR = 45,15, 95% CI = 28,09-73,59) (Table 4).
Increasing number of unsuccessful quit attempts showed a positive association with having used NRT at latest quit attempt for both men and women. While 5,8% (OR = 1.00) of male former smokers or current smokers with no or one unsuccessful quit attempts had used NRT, 14,7% (OR = 2.73, 95% CI = 1.66-4.51) of those who had tried to quit four times or more without succeeding had used this method. Among women, 9,4% (OR = 1.00) of those with zero or one unsuccessful quit attempts had used NRT, compared to 21,3% (OR = 2.55, 95% CI = 1.63-3.99) among those with four or more unsuccessful attempts. Current snus use showed a negative association (OR = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.10-0.75) with having used NRT at the last attempt to quit among men (Table 4).
Quit rate by use of snus or NRT and continuation of snus use
Of all male ever daily smokers with quit attempts under the age of 45 in this sample who had used snus to aid their last attempt to quit smoking (N = 142), 45.8% were no longer smokers at the time of the interview. Among male ever daily smokers with quit attempts who had used NRT (N = 38), 26,3% were no longer smokers when interviewed. When analyzed in a logistic regression model controlling for age and education, the odds ratio for being a former smoker among men was 1.61 (CI 1.04-2.49) when snus had been used on the last quit attempt, compared to having used no aids or one of the other aids that was enquired about. Having used NRT showed a negative association of 0.44 (CI 0.24-0.79) with having successfully quit smoking among women. The odds of being a former smoker compared to a current smoker was more than three times higher for those with the highest level of education compared to those with the lowest, which is a stronger effect than quit method, age or sex (Table 5).
59.6% of all former smokers who had used snus as a method to quit (N = 109) used snus daily at the time of the interview, while 9.2% used snus occasionally. Of those who had used snus to try to quit smoking but had not succeeded (N = 108), 19.5% were using snus daily and 50% occasionally in addition to smoking at the time of the interview (not in table).