|Smoking habits in Norway, trendlines added by Atakan Befrits|
I haven't found any good statistics on vaping, I'm not sure they even exist yet, so I don't think we can be sure that vaping can be attributed the increased decline from 2009, but I wouldn't be surprised. But to be fair, from these data we can't really say for sure. What the data does show however, is that vaping has not led to an increase, or a graph that flattens out, like we would have seen if the gateway theory was valid.
I've never used Snus (for some reason SSB calls it snuff, which I believe quite a few will associate with something else), but I can't really remember that Snus was not available here in Norway. So to be honest I'm not sure why Befrits says it became widely available in 2000, and I couldn't find data from before 2008 on the SSB web-page. However, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have some more data in their Public Health Report from 2014 (in Norwegian):
|Daily smoking and use of snus 16-25 years old, 1985-2013. Shows "Men, daily smoking", "Women daily smoking", "Men, daily use of snus" and "Women, daily use of snus", in that order on the top.|
|Same as the above graph, but for people aged 16-74.|
It's also interesting to see that prevalence is dropping the most among young people:
Personally I believe this shows that people are very aware of the dangers of smoking, and it seems also that they are aware that Snus is better for your health. I know a lot of former smokers that have used Snus as an aid to quit smoking. In other words, most people seems to understand, and use harm reducing products.
As I said it's a bit difficult to see how vaping and e-cigarettes have contributed to the decline in smoking prevalence here in Norway, as the data on vaping is quite limited. Most people (95%) have heard of e-cigarettes and 15% have tried them according to SSB. E-cigarettes were included in the yearly survey that SSB does on smoking from 2013. The Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS) released a report on e-cigarettes earlier this year with some more numbers estimating around 50.000 weekly users in Norway and around 500.000 have tried e-cigarettes. Their numbers also shows that e-cigarettes are mainly used by smokers, to quit or reduce smoking.
It's good to see that we're moving in the right direction, and even if it's not surprising, it's great to have these numbers to show anyone claiming that vaping will lead to more smoking. On the SSB web-page you can even get more numbers and generate your own graphs. Looking forward to seeing the next report from SSB released in January next year to see how the graphs develop. And it might be even more interesting to see how the TPD will affect this when another year has passed... if we're not able to stop it that is. Not all hope is lost yet... on the 12th of December we hit the streets to convince our politicians that the TPD is not the way to keep those numbers going down as fast as possible.