One in three smoke or use snuff
royk, Tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, smokers, daily smokers, tobacco use, snuff usersHealth conditions and living habits, Health

Tobacco, alcohol and other drugs2013



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One in three smoke or use snuff

Over the years, the proportion of smokers in Norway has continued to decrease. In 2013, 15 per cent smoked daily and 9 per cent occasionally. Snuff was used by 9 per cent on a daily basis and by 4 per cent now and then. A third of those aged 16-74 either smokes, takes snuff or does both.

Smokers and snuffers
Both sexes
Percentage daily smokers27211615
Percentage occasional smokers119109
Takes snuff daily - per cent.699
Takes snuff occasionally - per cent.444
Percentage daily smokers28211615
Percentage occasional smokers12101110
Takes snuff daily - per cent.101414
Takes snuff occasionally - per cent.765
Percentage daily smokers27211614
Percentage occasional smokers11997
Takes snuff daily - per cent.144
Takes snuff occasionally - per cent.223

32 per cent aged 16-74 years used tobacco in 2013, either daily or occasionally. The proportion has decreased since 2008, when it was 36 per cent. However, the picture is different with regard to young people aged 16-24 years, where there now seems to be a greater proportion using tobacco than in 2008 – four out of ten. Since the percentage of young smokers has gone down since 2008, the increase in tobacco use is due to snuff becoming more popular. The percentage of tobacco users in the population is a bit lower than the sum of the percentages of snuff users and smokers, since some use both snuff and tobacco. Men use snuff to a higher extent than women. This is the main reason why the level of men’s use of tobacco is 38 per cent in 2013, compared to the female level of 26 per cent for the age group 16-74 years.

Smoking is decreasing, but the use of snuff is stable

The trend towards a lower proportion of daily smokers seems to be continuing. This proportion has been halved since the turn of the millennium. 15 per cent of people living in Norway aged 16-74 years smoked on a daily basis in 2013, and 16 per cent the previous year. For those smoking occasionally, the proportion has been relatively stable since 2000 - at around 10 per cent.

The population’s use of snuff seems to be unchanged from 2013. On the other hand, there was an increase in the daily use of snuff from 6 per cent in 2008 to 9 per cent in 2013. Since 2008, the occasional use of snuff has been about 4 per cent. Using snuff is most widespread among young people aged 16-24 years, where 21 per cent used snuff daily and 8 per cent occasionally. Among the young men asked, the proportion using snuff was 27 per cent – almost double compared to young women. Among young people taking snuff only now and then, women had a higher proportion, with 9 per cent compared with 6 per cent for men.

Daily smoking - as common for women as for men

Previously, smoking on a daily basis was more common among men than women, but the differences gradually decreased during the period 1973-1999. Since the turn of the millennium, the proportion of daily smokers is about the same for both genders. Fifteen per cent of men and 14 per cent of women smoked in 2013. However, more men are occasional smokers.

According to the survey in 2013, young people aged 16-24 years have the lowest proportion of daily smokers and the highest proportion of occasional smokers. Only the 65-74 year-olds smoke have a lower share than the young. This applies to both men and women. From 2000 until 2012, 45-64 year-olds had the highest proportion of smokers, but in the 2013-survey a slightly higher proportion of persons aged 55-64 said they were daily smokers.

Most people know about electronic cigarettes, but few have tried

Electronic cigarettes were registered in this survey for the first time in November-December 2013. The majority had heard of electronic cigarettes, around 80 per cent, but only 10 per cent say they have tried them. A higher percentage of young people under 35 years have tried electronic cigarettes compared to people older than 35 years. A majority of those who had tried electronic cigarettes also smoke or take snuff.

Change of method from 2009Open and readClose

Statistics Norway has conducted surveys on smoking habits since 1973, and these are now part of Statistics Norway’s Travel and holiday survey. In the course of a year, four surveys with a total net sample of almost 4 500 are carried out. The results are published for the year as a whole. Since 2008, the survey also includes questions about Norwegians’ use of snuff on a quarterly basis.

From 1973 to 2008, three-year moving averages were estimated. A moving average is calculated as the average of results from three consecutive years, and this represents the middle of the three years. From 2009, Statistics Norway has decided to use the actual figures for each year.