Snus more used than cigarettes

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For the first time there were more people using snus on a daily basis compared to daily smokers. Young men use snus the most, while older men smoke the most.

In 2017, 11 per cent of the population aged 16-74 were daily smokers, while 12 per cent used snus daily, according to updated figures from Røykevaner.

‘Despite the decline in daily smoking, the total share of the population who use tobacco has increased’, says higher executive officer at Statistics Norway, Joachim Wettergreen.

Figure 1 outlines the decline of daily smokers, as well as the increase in users of snus on a daily basis over the last decade. It also shows that 2017 was the first year that the share of daily smokers was lower than the share of daily users of snus.

Figure 1. Share of the population aged 16-74 who use snus and cigarettes daily, by tobacco product and year

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cigarettes 21 21 19 17 16 15 13 13 12 11
Snus 6 6 7 8 9 9 9 10 10 12

Many daily smokers are elderly

One out of 10 Norwegians are daily smokers, and it is the elderly parts of the population that smoke the most. Overall, there is a decline in daily smokers across most age groups, but there is a distinction between people aged 45 or more and people aged 44 or less.

Nearly 15 per cent of people aged 45-74 smoke daily, and the corresponding share is approximately 8 per cent for those aged 16-44. There are also very few in the youngest age group who smoke.

Most of the daily smokers aged 44 or less are men, while there are small gender disparities among the daily smokers above 45 years of age. The only exception is the most mature age group, where men again smoke the most.

Figure 2. Share of the population that smokes daily, by sex and age. 2017

All ages 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74
Men 12 5 9 14 14 16 14
Women 10 1 8 10 14 16 12

Young men use snus the most

Men use snus the most, and particularly in the young age groups in the spectrum.

‘Nearly 3 in 10 men aged 34 or less are daily users of snus, while about 1 in 10 women in the same age group do the same. The prevalence of snus is especially high among men aged 25-34 with 32 per cent’, explains Wettergreen.

Women use snus less than men, and we see the same trends that the younger women of the population use snus the most. Only 2 per cent1 of women aged 34 or more use snus daily, while 13 per cent among 16-34-year-olds do the same.

Figure 3. Share of the population which use snus daily, by sex and age. 2017

All ages 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74
Men 17 25 32 19 14 7 2
Women 6 14 12 5 1 1

Changes in methods do not affect key figures and trends

From 2014 and onwards statistics on smoking and tobacco usage are calculated with weights to adjust for biases in relation unit non-response. Weights are adjusted for age, education, and gender. Using weights will alter some numbers slightly, but overarching trends remain the same.

1 The figure was corrected 18 January 2018 at 10:36 am. 

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