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Prevalence and characteristics of occasional smokers - project description

Published Updated


Studying whether intermittent smoking is a stable behaviour (tracking), whether intermittent smoking is a risk factor for nicotine dependence, and determine the relative importance of factors in childhood, such as parents' educational level and smokers' own achievements at school, for pre-disposing individuals to become occasional smokers.


  • Start

    01.01.2012

  • End

    31.12.2013

  • Status

    Concluded

  • Project owner/ Project manager

    Norwegian Institute of Public Health

  • Project manager

    Elisabeth Kvaavik

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Summary

While the proportion of daily smokers in Norway more than halved between 1973 (42 per cent) and 2011 (17 per cent), the proportion of occasional smokers remained more or less constant within an 8 to 13 per cent band in the same period. The lowest percentages were recorded in the '70s and '80s, the highest in the mid '90s, though figures declined again in the early 2000s. Over the last two to three years, however, the percentage of occasional smokers increased slightly, recording 11 per cent in 2011 (ssb.no). Since variations in the proportion of non-daily smokers are small, however, it can be said to be a reasonably stable figure.


Occasional smokers differ from daily smokers partly because they tend not to see themselves as smokers and partly because they are more likely to have higher educational achievements than daily smokers. Having said that, intermittent smoking may cause nicotine addiction and encourage a habit of daily smoking. We know very little about the factors that dispose a person to become an intermittent smoker, that effect whether intermittent smoking is a stable behaviour and whether intermittent smokers are more likely to stop smoking or turn into daily smokers.


Using pre-collected data on smoking behaviour over time, on the educational achievements of parents and the smokers themselves, as well as smokers' school achievements (these data come from the longitudinal study Young in Norway conducted by Norwegian Social Research - NOVA), it should be possible, for example, to establish whether intermittent smoking is a stable behaviour (tracking), whether intermittent smoking is a risk factor for nicotine dependence, and determine the relative importance of factors in childhood, such as parents' educational level and smokers' own achievements at school, for pre-disposing individuals to become occasional smokers.

 

See the full project description at Cristin for more information about results, researchers, contact information etc.

Project participants

Project leader

Elisabeth Kvaavik, Avdeling for rusmidler og tobakk, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Project participants

Willy Pedersen, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo