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The Miracle Continues: Women Join Men in Making Smoking "History" in Northern Sweden

The Decline of Smoking in Northern Sweden. Published in the Scandanavian Journal of Public Health, Volume 33, pages 321-324, August 2005. By Birgitta Stegmayr, Mats Eliasson and Brad Rodu. (UAB TRF)

In 2002 and 2003 Dr. Rodu and Swedish colleagues published studies showing that snus use played a major role in low smoking rates among men in northern Sweden. Daily smoking had declined from 19% in 1986 to 11% in 1999.  This study provided additional information about smoking rates in 2004.

The prevalence of smoking in 2004 among men in Northern Sweden was 9%, and only 3% among men age 25-34 years. In contrast, the prevalence of exclusive snus use was 27% among all men and 34% among those age 25-34. 

For the first time snus use was also associated with a decrease in smoking prevalence among women. Smoking prevalence had been about 25 to 27% in the first three surveys from 1986 to 1994, and snus use among women was 2% or less. But in 1999 smoking among women had dropped to 20%, while the percentage of women using snus had increased to 6%. This trend strengthened in 2004, when only 16% of women smoked and 9% of women used snus. As with men, snus use rates were higher, and smoking rates lower, among the youngest age groups.

This study was supported by the Tobacco Research Fund (UAB). Additional support was provided by grants from the Swedish Research Council, the Research Council for Social Sciences, the Heart and Chest Fund, King Gustaf V's and Queen Victoria's Foundation, Västerbotten and Norrbotten County Councils, and the Swedish Public Health Institute.  Dr. Stegmayr is also supported by a grant from the Swedish Medical Research Council.


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