University of Oulu

Danielsson M, Tanner T, Patinen P, et al. Prevalence, duration of exposure and predicting factors for snus use among young Finnish men: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2021;11:e050502. doi:

Prevalence, duration of exposure and predicting factors for snus use among young Finnish men : a cross-sectional study

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Author: Danielsson, Maria1,2; Tanner, Tarja3,4; Patinen, Pertti1;
Organizations: 1Center for Military Medicine, Finnish Defence Forces, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
2Doctoral Programme in Population Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
3Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Medical Research Center, University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Former: Department of Cariology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
6Finnish Lung Health Association, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
7The Defence Command, Finnish Defence Forces, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
8Department of Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
9Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
10Division of Medicine, Department of Oncology, University of Turku, Turku, Varsinais-Suomi, Finland
11Division of Medicine, Department of Pulmonary Diseases and Clinical Allergology, University of Turku, Turku, Varsinais-Suomi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: BMJ, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-23


Objective: The health hazards of tobacco products depend on the level of exposure, but little is known about the characteristics of snus use. The aim of this study was to investigate the duration of daily exposure to snus among occasional and daily users and its associated predictive factors among young Finnish men.

Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Setting: Three out of 16 Finnish Defence Forces units.

Participants: 1280 young Finnish male conscripts starting their military service in 2016 chosen by simple random sampling.

Primary and secondary measures: The prevalence, duration of use and the amount of daily usage of snus and cigarettes were investigated. The attitudes towards perceived harmfulness of snus and the predictive factors affecting the total time of snus consumption were examined.

Results: Almost a fifth (19.5%) of the conscripts reported daily snus use, and a further 16% reported occasional use. Daily snus use was associated with an earlier starting age, longer duration of use and higher daily exposure time compared with occasional use. On average, daily snus users consumed 10 portions and occasional users three portions per day (p<0.001). The daily total exposure time for daily users was 372 min (95% CI 344 to 401) and for occasional users 139 min (95% CI 106 to 171). Respondents with an upper secondary education had significantly less daily total exposure than those with basic comprehensive education (p=0.036). Perceptions of snus as a harmful substance resulted in a significantly lower duration of exposure.

Conclusion: Snus use was very common among young Finnish men. High snus exposure duration was associated with an earlier starting age, a longer history of use and a careless attitude to its health hazards. A higher education level was a protective factor for total exposure time. Studies of the long-term health effects and dependency profile of snus use are needed.

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Series: BMJ open
ISSN: 2044-6055
ISSN-E: 2044-6055
ISSN-L: 2044-6055
Volume: 11
Issue: 9
Article number: e050502
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050502
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3141 Health care science
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This study was supported by Juha Vainio Foundation (grant number N/A) and Maanpuolustuksen kannatussäätiö (grant number N/A). Open access was funded by Helsinki University Library.
Copyright information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: