Tobacco and nicotine product use study

In Estonia, the most common tobacco and nicotine products are cigarettes, e-cigarettes (including disposable and nicotine-free), nicotine pads, snuff and heated tobacco. This study focused on the three products most consumed in Estonia: regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes and nicotine patches. While the consumption of regular cigarettes has decreased, the use of new alternative tobacco and nicotine products (e.g. e-cigarettes) has increased.

Although there have been many studies on tobacco and nicotine products in Estonia, the use of these products has not been examined in such depth. To better understand the use of alternative nicotine products, which are becoming increasingly popular among youth, this study provided an overview of what these products are, how much and why they are used in Estonia, where they are obtained, and what attitudes and beliefs are associated with their use. Furthermore, the study described and analysed the profile of tobacco and nicotine product users, including personality traits, the reasons for quitting, and what activities could prevent or reduce the use of tobacco and nicotine products. 

The results showed that 23% of the general population surveyed and 7% of the students use tobacco and nicotine products every day or almost every day. Cigarettes are the most commonly used products among the general population and e-cigarettes among students. Overall, women are less likely to use the products, with 48% of women have never used them. 

Effective intervention and prevention measures include strengthening alcohol and tobacco policies, improving the school environment for young people, developing parental skills among parents and life skills among young people, media campaigns, workplace-based preventions, and short interventions such as using online applications or websites to promote quitting from nicotine and tobacco products. 

Following the example of other countries, a holistic approach should be taken to regulate tobacco and nicotine products. Furthermore, it is important to harmonise regulations between different products to reduce the risk of cross-use or switching to an alternative product. In addition, it is essential to introduce restrictions to reduce the use of tobacco and nicotine products, which can keep up with new product development and availability. The impact of various intervention and prevention measures may vary in results and depends on each measure’s objective and target group. Implementation of possible intervention and prevention measures needs more research to ensure their applicability in Estonia.