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Daily smoking declines, snus use on the rise

According to new statistics, smoking is on the rise among women, whereas snus use is most common among young men.

A new report shows daily smoking is on the decline, but the use of snus tobacco is rising. Image: Petteri Bülow / Yle

Daily smoking by people living in Finland continues to be on the decline, according to the latest results of the Tobacco Statistics 2020 survey published by the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL.

According to the statistics, about 12 percent of people living in Finland aged 20–64 smoked daily in 2020; 14 percent of men and 11 percent of women. Among men, smoking has declined since 2019, while for women the numbers are showing a slight uptick.

Long-term, the smoking habits of both sexes have declined significantly, for men even more so than women. At the turn of the millennium, nearly 30 percent of men and about 20 percent of women lit up regularly.

Daily smoking among young people, 14–20 years, has also continued to decline, but this is mainly due to a decline in girls' smoking. Seven percent of boys and five percent of girls continue to smoke daily in 2021.

An estimated 7 percent of retirees (ages 65-84) smoke daily; 8 percent of men and 5 percent of women. There have been no significant changes in the smoking habits among retirees in recent years.

More young men using snus

The use of snus tobacco has become more common among men. About 7 percent of Finnish men aged 20–64 used snus daily in 2020, which is two percentage points higher than in 2019. Only one percent of women used snus daily in 2020.

Snus was most common in the 20-34 age group, where 12 percent used the substance daily. Every fifth man aged 20-34 reported their snus use as daily or occasional.

The daily use of snus in young people aged 14 to 20 appears to be on the decline overall. In 2021, snus was used daily by 5 percent of 14- to 20-year-olds, one percentage point less than in 2019.

In male vocational school students, daily snus use decreased the most compared to 2019. In the case of female vocational students, on the other hand, daily snus use increased slightly. In high schools and elementary schools, the use of snus was less common than in vocational schools.

E-cigarette users few and far between

According to the statistical report, e-cigarettes were used daily by 1 percent of men aged 20-64 and fewer than 1 percent of women in 2020. Regular e-cigarette use is also generally low among young people, with the exception of male vocational school students, of whom 4 percent smoke e-cigarettes.

The ten-euro line is approaching

According to Yle's calculations, there are half a million daily smokers in Finland and the average number of cigarettes consumed by a habitual smoker is about 400 per year, which is just over a pack a day. The financial hit to daily smokers is the equivalent of a few vacations a year, anywhere between 3,500 and 4,000 euros.

A pack of cigarettes now costs an average of just over nine euros, with the price likely to hit the ten-euro mark in just over a year, as a result of tax increases. The state will generate about 1.5 billion euros in revenue from tobacco sales this year, which covers just over three percent of this year's government spending.

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