Health Behavior

Figures 13-4a and 13-4b show more detailed information on age- and sex-specific smoking rates in Finland, Estonia, and the Republic of Karelia. The data for Finland and Estonia are derived from the health behavior surveys and the data for the Republic of Karelia (Pitkäranta) from the risk factor survey there. The questions used in all the surveys were the same.

Among men, smoking is clearly least common in Finland and most common in Pitkäranta. Very alarming is that in Pitkäranta, 77 percent of the men in the youngest age group (25-34) smoke. For women, the differences in smoking among the three populations are much less pronounced. Overall, the smoking rate among women is lowest in Pitkäranta. However, in Pitkäranta and Estonia, the age gradient is steep, and the youngest women (aged 25-34) clearly smoke most; in Estonia, more than 30 percent of the women in this age group smoke.

In Finland, Estonia, and the Republic of Karelia, the above-mentioned surveys included similar questions about the type of fat used on bread and the use of fresh vegetables. As noted earlier, butter is seldom used on bread in Finland, by 17 and 13 percent of males and females, respectively, while butter is by far the predominant choice in Estonia and the Republic of Karelia, where over 90 and 70 percent of the populations use it, respectively. These data, of course, say nothing about quantities used or availability.

Daily consumption of fresh vegetables is much more common in Finland

Figure 13-4a

Age-specific smoking rates in Finland and Estonia (health behavior surveys) and Republic of Karelia, Pitkäranta (risk factor survey), males.

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