The aim of the present investigation was to study differences in background factors between ice-hockey-playing boys who used snuff, who had tried using snuff, and who had never used snuff. The background factors studied were the socio-economic conditions of the boys' parents; the tobacco habits of the boys' parents, siblings, and friends; the boys' choice of theoretical or practical upper secondary school programme; knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco as well as participation in a sport other than ice hockey. Data were collected usinG a questionnaire. Of 249 boys in the age group 12-19 years who participated in the study, 13% used snuff, 34% had tried using snuff, and 53% had never used snuff. The factors knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco and choice of theoretical or practical upper secondary school programme had no significant association with the boys' snuffing habits. This was also true for the parents' tobacco habits unless their habits were analysed separate from each other, where "mother smoked" showed an association with boys who used snuff. The study also showed a significant difference between boys who used snuff and boys who had never used snuff and between boys who had tried using snuff and boys who had never used snuff; boys who used snuff tended to have siblings who used snuff. Of boys who used snuff, 77% reported that their friends' use of snuff had influenced them to start using snuff. A significant difference could also be shown between boys who used snuff, had tried using snuff and never-users depending on whether the boys participated in a sport other than ice hockey. Snuff usage was not as widespread among boys who participated in other sport activities. This was verified by the multivariate logistic regression analysis where "taking part in other sports than ice hockey" was the explanatory variable that showed the strongest association with the dependent variable. An active participation in ice hockey and the environment, in which this sport is practised, would consequently be a strong influencing factor to start using snuff.