Aim We investigated factors associated with the initiation and continuation of snus use in adolescents in Norway. The associations with adolescents’ own educational plans, the parents’ educational level(s) and tobacco habits were estimated. Methods In this cross-sectional questionnaire-based study, 1465 patients aged 18–20 years participated. The questionnaire was administered at regular dental examinations in the public dental health service. To assess the association between individual factors and the initiation of tobacco habits, a generalised structural equation model with random effects at the clinic level was used. Binary responses were modelled using multilevel binary logistic regression, while the number of snus boxes used per month was modelled using a multilevel Poisson regression model.
Results Of current (daily and occasional) tobacco users, 85% were snus users, including dual users of both snus and cigarettes. The median age of snus initiation was 16 years. Both parental snus use and smoking were associated with an increased risk of snus initiation, snus use and a higher amount of use. An increased risk of using snus was associated with male gender and with no educational plans or planning for further vocational education. The amount of snus used was higher among current snus users with a prior smoking history and among those planning for further vocational education.
Conclusions These findings may aid in developing and targeting tobacco prevention strategies aimed at young people. Tobacco prevention measures should start at the elementary school level. The strong association with parental tobacco habits underlines the importance of parents’ influence on their children’s tobacco use.
Factors associated with initiation and use of snus among adolescents
Ansteinsson V, Mdala I, Becher R, Grøtvedt L, Kopperud SE, Valen HR
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, December 2021