Snus user identity and addiction. A Swedish focus group study on adolescents
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The teenage years are the years when adolescents seek their identity, and part of this involves experimenting with tobacco. The use of tobacco as such, and norms among their friends, is more important to the adolescents than the norms of parents when it comes to using tobacco or not. The aim was to explore the significance of using snus for adolescents, and attitudes to snus, as well as the reasons why they began using snus and what maintained and facilitated the use of snus. METHODS: Adolescents who use snus were interviewed in focus groups. The material was analysed using content analysis. RESULTS: Four groups of boys and one group of girls were interviewed, a total of 27 students from the upper secondary vocational program. Three themes related to the students' opinions on and experiences of using snus were found: Circumstances pertaining to snus debut indicate what makes them start using snus. Upholding, which focuses on the problem of becoming addicted and development of identity, and approach, where the adolescents reflect on their snus habits in relation to those around them. A number of factors were described as relevant to behaviour and norm building for the development into becoming a snus user. Attitudes and actions from adults and friends as well as -- for the boys -- development of an identity as a man and a craftsman influenced behaviour. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that development of identity was of major importance when adolescents start using snus. The adolescents were initially unable to interpret the early symptoms of abstinence problems, but subsequently became well aware of being addicted. Once they were stuck in addiction and in the creation of an image and identity, it was difficult to stop using snus. These factors are important when considering interventions of normative changes and tobacco prevention in schools as well as among parents.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Margareta Troein, May 22, 2015
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Snus use has become increasingly prevalent among young people in Norway, while smoking has declined. Little is known about the transitions between snus and other tobacco products, particularly for younger users. A major concern involves the association between snus initiation and future smoking uptake. A total of 409 lifetime snus users who had started with snus before cigarettes or were never-smokers were selected from a national sample of participants in annually repeated cross-sectional surveys (2005-2011) of Norwegian men and women aged 15-74 years. About 30% of them were lifetime smokers, 84% were men, and the M age was 29.4 years. Logistic regression was applied to investigate the association between age of snus uptake and the risk of becoming a smoker later on. Respondents who started using snus before the age of 16 years had an odds ratio of 3.1 (1.98-4.76) over those who initiated snus later on of being lifetime smokers. The prevalence of current smoking among early snus initiators (22.9%) was comparable to that found among never-snus-users (29.6%). Among late snus initiators, current smoking prevalence was 5.9%. In this study, snus debut age was an important factor for the association between snus use and smoking.Nicotine & Tobacco Research 02/2014; 16(6). DOI:10.1093/ntr/ntu001 · 2.81 Impact Factor