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Pape H.,Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research
Addiction | Year: 2012

Aims This paper queries the notion that young people overestimate peer substance use, asking whether there is robust evidence that such misperceptions are widespread and whether the phenomenon may have been exaggerated in the research literature. Method An examination of the research literature was conducted, focusing mainly on studies published since 2000. Some analyses of relevant data on cannabis use from a Norwegian youth survey were also undertaken. Results The research in question is characterized by many weaknesses, including low response rates and widespread use of convenience samples, as well as the presence of contextual factors and the use of assessment tools that may have created a bias in favour of 'demonstrating' that youth overestimate peer drinking or drug use. Moreover, in some cases, the apparent tendency to hold such misbeliefs may reflect the reality. Further, although most studies conclude that the modal tendency is to overestimate, high levels of underestimation of peer substance use have been reported. There is also suggestive evidence that many youth may have no pre-existing beliefs when responding to items on the issue. Results from the Norwegian youth survey added to this picture. Conclusion Young people's tendency to overestimate peer drinking and drug use has been exaggerated, while the uncertainty surrounding the evidence in question has been understated. © 2012 The Author, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction. Source

Objectives. The aim was (1) to investigate the association between education and smoking status (current, former and never-smoking) among non-western immigrants in Norway and (2) examine if these associations fit the pattern predicted by the model of the cigarette epidemic. Design. Data came from the Oslo Health Study and the Oslo Immigrant Health study (2000-2002). The first included all Oslo citizens from seven selected birth cohorts. The second included all Oslo citizens born in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. 14,768 respondents answered questions on smoking, education and relevant background variables (over-all response rate 43.3%). Two gender specific multinomial logistic regression models with smoking status [current, former or never-smoker (reference)] as dependent variable were computed and predicted probabilities of smoking status among groups with different levels of education were calculated. Results. Smoking prevalence among men ranged from 19% among Sri Lankans to 56% among Turks. Compared to the smoking prevalence among Norwegian men (27%), smoking was widespread among Iranians (42%) and Vietnamese (36%). Higher education was associated with lower probability of current smoking among all male immigrant groups except Sri Lankans. Never having smoked was positively associated with education among Pakistani and Norwegian men. Among women, <5% smoked among Pakistanis, Vietnamese and Sri Lankans. Smoking prevalence among Turkish (28%) and Iranian (23%) women were comparable to Norwegian women (30%). The probability of smoking among Turkish and Iranian women with secondary education was higher than for other levels of education. The probability of being a never-smoker was high among Turkish and Iranian women with primary education. Conclusions. High smoking prevalence among Turkish and Iranian men highlights the importance of addressing smoking behaviour in subgroups of the general population. Smoking was almost non-existent among Pakistani, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan women and indicates strong persistent social norms against smoking. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Rossow I.,Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research | Hansen M.B.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies
Addiction | Year: 2016

Aims: The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the development and current status of gambling and gambling policy in Norway. Methods: An overview of the research literature and official documents and websites. Results: Gambling on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) increased dramatically in the 1990s in response to technological development and liberalization of gambling policy. Restrictions on availability of EGM gambling occurred from 2006 to 2009 and included a ban on note acceptors, a temporary ban on EGMs and re-introduction of fewer and less aggressive machines under a state monopoly. The restrictions led to significant decreases in total gambling turnover, and several studies suggest that they led to fewer gambling and gambling problems. Various factors may explain why the restrictions were politically feasible. These include media coverage of gambling concerns and economic compensation for revenue losses under the monopoly. Conclusions: In an international context of deregulation of gambling markets, the Norwegian policy restrictions on gambling availability have represented an exceptional case and provide a rare opportunity to explore the outcomes of such regulations. Overall, studies suggest that the policy restrictions have led to reductions in gambling expenditures and problem gambling. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction. Source

Halkjelsvik T.,Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research
Health Education Research | Year: 2013

Norway has one of the most comprehensive infrastructures for tobacco control in the world and has launched several media campaigns recent years. Can yet another anti-smoking campaign, using fear appeal messages, have an immediate impact on smoking behavior, motivation to quit and health beliefs? A sample of smokers (N=2543) completed a survey before and after a 7-week national media campaign. Individual exposure to campaign (unaided recall) was used as predictor of change. We observed no statistically significant effect on smoking status but tendencies were in the expected direction for daily smokers (P=0.09). There were no effects on number of cigarettes per day, likelihood to quit or reduce smoking. Small but statistically significant effects were found on motivation to quit (P<0.01, gp 2=0.004) and perceived seriousness of health hazards (P<0.05, gp 2=0.002). In addition, there was an increase in interpersonal discussions about health and smoking for those exposed to the campaign (P<0.01, gp 2=0.008). We conclude that there are very small effects of a relatively short and intense mass media campaign on a population of smokers already exposed to one of the most comprehensive tobacco control programs in the world. Source

Lund K.E.,Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2012

Introduction: Smokers are often incorrect in their assessment of the relative risk of snus and cigarettes. We have studied how perception of risks of snus compared with cigarettes was associated with the willingness of trying snus as a quit-smoking method. Methods: Fourteen thousand seven hundred and forty-four Norwegian men aged 20-50 years were selected at random from a national representative web panel and sent a questionnaire by e-mail. Of the 7,170 (48.6%) who responded, there were 155 former daily smokers who reported method for quitting smoking and 1,213 current daily smokers who stated their willingness to try different methods for quitting smoking. They were also asked to assess the relative risk between daily use of snus and cigarettes. Results: Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for reporting willingness to try snus in future quit attempts was significantly higher (AOR = 4.82, p < .001) for the 22.9% of the current smokers who, consistent with scientific evidence, believed that the health risks were "far lower" for snus than for cigarettes compared with the 39.8% who incorrectly perceived the health risks to be "equal or higher" for snus (reference AOR = 1). About 37.2% of the daily smokers believed that the risk was "somewhat lower" for snus than for cigarettes and had a significantly higher AOR of reporting willingness to try snus (AOR = 2.31, p < .001) compared with the reference group. Conclusion: Devising a way to inform smokers about the risk continuum of tobacco products could be an important research priority in countries where snus is allowed to compete with cigarettes for market share. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. Source

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