Tobacco and nicotine product use study

Smoking continues to be an important public health problem in Estonia. Around 30% of all 16–24-year-olds in Estonia smoke on a daily basis or as occasional smokers. Although consumption of traditional tobacco products is declining, the market and volume of alternative nicotine products (snus, hookah, e-cigarettes, etc) are growing. According to The National Institute for Health Development’s survey on the health behaviour of the Estonian population in 2020, young people use alternative products the most. At the same time, the age of young people exposed to alternative nicotine products is worrying. According to the NIHD survey on drug use among Estonian schoolchildren, 1% of 11-year-olds, 6% of 13-year-olds and 10% of 15-year-olds have used e-cigarettes repeatedly (NIHD, 2019). This, in turn, makes it increasingly important to gather knowledge about alternative nicotine products and their consumption. 

The aim of the study is to analyse the use of different alternative nicotine products, including the combined use of nicotine and tobacco products among the Estonian population, especially young people, and to find out the reasons for consuming different products, the effect of attitudes and beliefs on consumption and how information from different products reaches the potential consumer. 

Three main methods are used to achieve the purpose of the study: 

  1. analysis of secondary data, including an overview of the scientific literature, analysis of practices in other countries and other available data; 
  2. qualitative data collection for a) accurate design of the survey and b) refinement and profiling of the survey results. For this, individual interviews and focus group interviews will be conducted with consumers of alternative nicotine products (including young people and adults) as well as with professionals and practitioners in the field;
  3. quantitative data collection, i.e. an online survey that maps the use of alternative nicotine products, its causes and other relevant information among the general population and, more thoroughly, among young people. 

In the study, profiles of consumers of alternative nicotine products are going to be created and potential interventions that could be implemented in Estonia to prevent and/or reduce the consumption of alternative nicotine products, including young people, are going to be developed.