New Years resolutions come true?
royk, Tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, smokers, daily smokers, tobacco use, snuff usersHealth conditions and living habits, Health

Tobacco, alcohol and other drugs2003



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New Years resolutions come true?

For the first time, quarterly figures about smoking in Norway are published. It may seem that quite a few decided to stop smoking at the turn of the year. The figures show that the portion of daily smokers was 25.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2003.

This must not be mixed up with annual figures about smoking published in March each year, which showed that 29.6 per cent were daily smokers in 2002 (average for 2001 and 2002). The annual figures show the portion of smokers for an entire year as a three years sliding average, and these figures give a much better basis for saying something about smoking in Norway.

Quarterly portion  of daily smokers, March 2000 to March 2003. Per cent

Variations between quarters

The figures from the first quarter of 2003 may indicate that the tendency to a declining portion of daily smokers observed the last years is now strengthened. This is not necessarily the case. First, there is an uncertainty connected to the quarterly figures. We often use confidence intervals to say something about the uncertainty connected to a figure. This means that there is a 95 per cent probability that the actual figure is within this interval. For the portion of daily smokers in the first quarter of 2003, this interval reaches from 28.9 per cent to 22.9 per cent (the same goes for the other quarterly figures). Secondly, each year we observe fluctuations in the portion of daily smokers from quarter to quarter. In recent years it may seem as if there is an increase in the portion of daily smokers in the fall.

Even though the figures from the first quarter of 2003 show the lowest portion of daily smokers we have observed, we have to wait for the annual figures for 2003 to see whether or not this a trend that will prevail throughout the year. We will know more about how smoking develops in 2003 when the annual figures are published in March 2004.