tobacco endgame, non-smoking; non-combustible

Snus ‘most effective’ aid to help quit smoking: study

New research from Norway shows that smokers who switch to snus have an increased likelihood of success when trying to quit smoking. 

Researchers Ingeborg & Marianne Lund analyzed data from a nationwide panel to investigate the efficacy of different smoking cessation activities and explore potential associations between different methods, previous attempts, and successful quitting.

“Improved knowledge of factors that could increase smoking cessation rates is both relevant and essential, and would clearly benefit public and individual health,” the authors write in the study, entitled “Quit smoking: methods and outcomes for Norwegian adults.

Data from quit smoking campaign

They point out that in Norway, despite increasingly strict anti-tobacco regulations, 14 percent of adults still smoke.

To investigate the efficacy of smoking cessation methods, the researchers relied on data gathered from a web panel administered during a month-long quit-smoking campaign backed by the Norwegian Directorate for Health.

Participation was restricted to current and former smokers, with half the data collected prior to the campaign and the other half collected after the campaign.

Majority need only one attempt to quit smoking

The data revealed that the majority (56.7 percent) of former smokers needed only one attempt to quit smoking, with an additional 35.6 percent managing to quit after two attempts.

Meanwhile, 52.8 percent of current smokers had attempted to quit two or more times, while 23.9 percent had never tried to quit.

The researchers also found that snus was the most common cessation aid, and had been used significantly more often in the former smoking group than in the group of current smokers.

Use of nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) and e-cigarettes as cessation aids, meanwhile was more prevalent among current smokers compared to former smokers.

Snus was also used significantly more often among men and young people (ages 18-34) compared to use among women and older age groups.

Snus ‘most effective’ smoking cessation aid

Furthermore, snus was the only cessation aid significantly associated with a higher probability of quitting. 

“The effectiveness and high prevalence of snus makes it the cessation aid with the highest efficacy in Norway, i.e., the cessation aid with the highest potential for making a positive contribution to public health,” the researchers write.

The results showing that snus is an effective quit-smoking aid echo previous research from Sweden and Norway, two countries where snus is widely available and socially acceptable.

The same researchers published a 2022 study based on data from Norway finding that snus helped people quit smoking.