Anna-Karin Trångteg Helps Young People Quit Nicotine

Anna-Karin Trångteg works as a tobacco cessation counsellor at a youth clinic. Here she explains how the young people she meets view different types of nicotine addiction.

Anna-Karin Trångteg. Photo: Martin Stenmark

Text by: Annika Lund, first published in Medical Science No 2 2024 / Spotlight on new nicotine products

Anna-Karin Trångteg works at a youth clinic and trained as a tobacco cessation counsellor six years ago.

‘We usually ask young people about their lifestyle. A few years ago, fewer and fewer started answering yes to questions about smoking and tobacco. It was strange, I thought. Eventually I started asking about nicotine use instead. Then there were lots of affirmative answers. They didn’t think white snuff was tobacco,’ she says.

Very few say directly that they are addicted. But when Anna-Karin Trångteg asks the young people to tell her when they usually use snus, they often discover that it is on quite a few occasions. They are often surprised when they hear themselves.

convinced that white snus is harmless

‘In the case of smoking, the health issue can be a motivating factor for quitting. It may be a desire to be able to exercise, not be out of breath and not have a bad odour in their hair. When it comes to white snus, they say nothing of the sort. All we hear about is a stinging sensation under the lip. Young people are convinced that white snus is harmless,’ says Anna-Karin Trångteg.

Anna-Karin Trångteg helps those who want to quit nicotine. It starts with a conversation about preparations. Then a start date is set.

‘You should think about what to do when the craving comes, because you need to have a plan for that. It’s good to tell your friends and family, but if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. We won’t tell anyone’s family about snus use,’ says Anna-Karin Trångteg.

Nicotine medication is good, she says. Patches release a little all the time, and chewing gum can be used for acute cravings, like in the morning.

‘You have to be patient and realise that quitting nicotine is a long process. It will be hard the first holiday, the first Christmas and Easter and on the ski trip. It’s like saying goodbye to something you’ve loved. Quitters say it’s nice not to have to spend time, energy and money on nicotine. Instead of planning for the next snus or buying the next can, their thoughts can be on something else,’ she says.

Anna-Karin Trångteg

Age: 56 years.

Does: Works at a youth clinic in Stockholm. Is a midwife and a trained smoking cessation counsellor.

The magazine Medical Science

MV två omslag

The magazine Medical Science

The magazine Medical Science (Medicinsk Vetenskap) is published by Karolinska Institutet and targets the general public interested in medical science.

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