Points of interest

ITS’ comments to the report SOU 2015:6 on proposals for legislation to implement the EU Directive on Tobacco Products.

Mortality attributable to tobacco among men in Sweden and other European countries: an analysis of data in a WHO report.

Death by regulation: the EU ban on low-risk oral tobacco

Clive Bates makes strong arguments for lifting the EU-ban on smokeless tobacco.

Read more >

Swedish tobacco experts in double seats

Doctors help to lobby against snus – and for Pfizer’s drugs

Read more (eng) >

Read more (Swe) >

Cut out the smoke, reduce the risks


Trajectories for daily tobacco use among Swedish men and women age 18-79.

In Sweden there are two main tobacco products, cigarettes and snus, so there can be four alternative patterns of initiation of daily tobacco use: “First smoking – never snus use”, “First smoking – later snus use”, “First snus use – never smoking” or “First snus use – later smoking”.

Initiation of tobacco use can lead to: “Smoking only”, “Snus use only”, “Dual use” or “No tobacco use”.

These figures show the different trajectories which Swedish tobacco users follow after initiation and through possible changes of their tobacco use.

Click to enlarge.

What do initiation patterns look like in Sweden?

When the Swedish situation has been discussed, questions have been raised about the impact of snus on the total initiation of tobacco use. By studying the patterns of tobacco initiation among different birth cohorts we have clarified the pattern of initiation over time.

The green segments of the bars, representing initiation of snus use, show a striking increase from decade to decade. The blue segments, representing non-initiation of tobacco use, show that the increase of snus use has been associated with a distinct increase of the fraction of those who abstain from initiation of tobacco use.

These data demonstrate that an increasing initiation of snus use is well compatible with a decreasing total recruitment to tobacco use, and suggest that the increasing numbers of primary snus users are mainly drawn from presumptive smokers.

How do Swedish smokers stop smoking?

Many Swedish smokers try to quit smoking on their own with the help of aids such as medical and non-medical nicotine products. We have combined the quit rate with the total amount of smokers in each category giving a more complete picture of the effect of the use of different quit aids among Swedish men and women.

As indicated by the height of the bars in this chart, snus is by far the most widely used aid among men, while nicotine gum is most used among women. In each bar the proportion between the green field (success) and the red field (failure) illustrates the quit rate achieved with that aid. The quit rate is also indicated numerically in each green field. Both among men and women the quit rate is markedly higher with snus than with gum or patch.

It appears that snus has double benefits over gum and patch – more widely used among men and more effective both among men and women.