This table, adapted from the publication, lists the prevalence (%) of men who used snus, cigarettes, or both products during each period of the study.
|Prevalence (%) of Tobacco Use Among Men in Västerbotten County, 1990-2007|
|40 Year Olds|
|50 Year Olds|
|60 Year Olds|
It clearly shows the transition from cigarettes to snus. Men of all ages made the switch, but the findings are most impressive for 40 year olds: snus use rose from 19% in 1990-95 to 28% in 2002-07, while smoking dropped from 20% to 7%.
Women also made the switch. In 1990-95, 31% of 40 year old women smoked, and only 2% used snus. By 2002-07, 12% smoked and 12% used snus.
The following table, also adapted from the publication, shows that many men used snus to quit smoking.
|Percentage of Men Former Smokers Who Were Current Snus Users|
|40 Year Olds||41||49||60|
|50 Year Olds||26||37||44|
|60 Year Olds||23||26||31|
Once again, the switch was most impressive among 40 year olds. In 1990-95, 41% of former smokers were using snus. By 2002-07 that figure was 60%. Although the percentages were smaller among women former smokers, they were still impressive. In 2002-07, 30% of 40 year old former smokers were using snus -- 16% among 50 year olds, and 7% among 60 year olds.
The study also looked at tobacco use among participants 10 years after they enrolled in the study (Baseline). Here is a breakdown of those results.
Note: Stable use in bold
|Tobacco Use Among Men After 10 Years|
|Baseline Tobacco-Free||Baseline Snus||Baseline Cigarettes||Baseline Both|
The important message here is that only 51% of smokers were still lighting up after 10 years, while 29% were tobacco-free, and 13% were using snus. Dual use was even more unstable, with 45% using snus at follow-up. Once again, these findings are similar to previously published research (here).
These results clearly show that snus use has played an important role in low smoking rates. Despite this, the researchers who produced the data argue to the contrary. They write, “If this was a randomized trial it would definitely refute the argument that snus use reduces smoking prevalence…our data is not in support of the claim of smoking reduction of snus…on a population level, snus has played a small role in the decision process to quit smoking.”
The researchers’ anti-tobacco sentiments are clearly at odds with the evidence. Their data simply proves, once again, the reality of the Swedish Miracle. Their jarring analysis underscores the disconnect between the fact-based science of tobacco harm reduction and the obfuscating politics of tobacco prohibitionism.