Among former daily smokers, snus (31.6%) was the most common method to quit smoking followed by nicotine gum (13.9%). Among daily smokers who had tried (unsuccessfully) to quit smoking, nicotine gum (31.3%) and snus (30.4%) were approximately evenly used. A significantly higher proportion of the current smokers who had used snus (alone or in combination) at their last attempt to quit smoking were very likely or likely to use snus again (70.0%, 95% CI 64.9–75.1) compared with retrial with nicotine gum (57.4%, 95% CI 52.0–62.8) and nicotine patch (51.3%, 95% CI 44.3–58.3). Intentions of retrial with Zyban were significantly lower (32%, 95% CI 22.7–41.3) than retrial with most other methods ().
Percentage of Former and Current Daily Smokers Who Used Different Methods to Quit Smoking at Last Quit Attempt, and Willingness Among Current Smokers to Retry the Same Method in a Future Attempt (Multiple Choice of Methods Possible)
Among daily smokers with intentions to quit, approximately one third were very likely or likely to use nicotine gum (32.5%) and self-help material (29.4%), followed by snus (27.5%) and nicotine patch (24.7%; ). No interaction was observed between willingness to try the different methods and action plans to quit smoking.
Willingness to Use Different Methods in Future Quitting Attempts Among Current Daily Smokers (n = 1,213)
Very few former or current smokers believed that use of snus implied more risk than smoking cigarettes, but many wrongly believed that harm from the two products was more or less equal or that use of snus was only somewhat less risky. Among former smokers, the proportions who correctly believed that daily snus use was “far less risky” than daily cigarette smoking were significantly higher for current (62.4%, 95% CI 57.3–67.5) and former (32.4%, 95% CI 26.5–38.3) snus users compared with persons without a history of snus use (12.9%, 95% CI 10.1–15.7). Likewise, among current smokers, dual users of cigarettes and snus (45.3%, 95% CI 40.2–50.4) and to a lesser degree former snus users (18.6%, 95% CI 13.5–23.7) believed snus to be far less risky than cigarettes compared with persons who smoked cigarettes only (11.5%, 95% CI 9.0–14.0; ).
Perceptions of Relative Risk Between Daily Use of Cigarettes and Snus Among Former Smokers, Current Smokers With Plans to Quit Smoking, Unique Snus Users and Never Users of Tobacco
Among former smokers, the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of having used snus to quit smoking was significantly higher (AOR = 10.72, p < .001) for the 31.8% who believed that snus was far less risky than cigarettes compared with the 33.7% who incorrectly perceived the health risks to be “equal or higher” for snus (reference AOR = 1). About 34.5% of former smokers believed that the risk was “somewhat lower” for snus than for cigarettes and had a significantly higher OR of having used snus (AOR = 3.48, p < .001) compared with the reference group ().
Among current smokers, the OR of reporting willingness to try snus in a future quit attempt was significantly higher (AOR = 4.82, p < .001) for the 22.9% who, consistent with scientific evidence, believed that snus was far less risky than cigarettes compared with the 39.8% who incorrectly perceived the health risks to be equal or higher for snus (reference OR = 1). About 37.2% of daily smokers believed that the risk was somewhat lower for snus than for cigarettes and had a significantly higher OR of reporting willingness to try snus (AOR = 2.31, p < .001) compared with the reference group ().