Lifestyle Correlates of Female Snus Use and Smoking: A Large Population-Based Survey of Women in Norway

Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Apr;18(4):431-6. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv126. Epub 2015 Jun 11.


Introduction: While smoking in Norway has become less prevalent, snus use has increased, including among women. The aims of this study were to describe female snus use and its correlates, and to contrast patterns of snus use and smoking.

Methods: In 2011-2012, data on tobacco use, age, education, alcohol consumption, sexual behaviors, and physical activity were collected from a population based sample of 13 756 Norwegian women aged 18-45 years, using a self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Ever-use prevalence of snus ranged from 29.6% to 4.5% among those aged 18-19 years and 40-45 years, respectively. In contrast, the corresponding figures for smoking were 24.1% and 44.1%. Among snus users, 54.1% and 22.8% of 18-19 and 40 to 45-year-olds had never smoked, respectively. Debut age for snus use increased markedly with age, and was higher than debut age for smoking. Female snus use was positively associated with intermediate education, alcohol consumption, number of sexual partners, and hard physical activity. Smoking was also positively associated with alcohol consumption and number of sexual partners, but negatively associated with physical activity and education.

Conclusion: While most snus users among older women were former or current smokers, this was not the case among younger women. Low snus debut age and extensive snus use among younger women suggest that measures to reduce snus use should be targeted at young adolescents. The correlates of female snus use and smoking were not identical, and were similar to those previously documented for men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / trends*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use / trends
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult