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Adult tobacco use

In 2015, among Canadian adults age 15 and older:

13.0% of Canadians (approximately 3.9 million) were current smokers: the lowest prevalence estimate since monitoring began.

  • The majority of smokers reported smoking daily (9.4% daily/3.7% non-daily prevalence).
  • Prevalence was higher among males (15.6%) than females (10.4%).
  • Prevalence was highest among young adults (18.5% among those aged 20-24), and generally declined with age. Prevalence was lowest among youth aged 15-19 and adults age 55+, at 9.7% and 10.6%, respectively. 

Canadians purchased over 29 billion cigarettes, down from over 42 billion in 2001.

Daily smokers in Canada smoked an average of 13.8 cigarettes per day.

  • Average consumption has declined by more than 3 cigarettes per day since 1999.
  • Male daily smokers consumed over 3 more cigarettes per day than females.

Self-rated health varied by smoking status, with non-smokers rating their general and mental health better than smokers.

There were significant differences between provinces in smoking prevalence, ranging from 10.2% in BC to over 18.5% in Newfoundland.

Cigars and cigarillos were the most popular tobacco products other than cigarettes: 2.5% of Canadians reported use in the past 30 days.

  • Use of cigars/cigarillos varied by province.
  • Use of other tobacco products (cigars, cigarillos, pipe, chewing tobacco/snuff, waterpipe) was more prevalent among males, and among young adults.

Although the vast majority of smokers usually obtained their cigarettes from stores, more than one in ten had purchased from a First Nations reserve in the last 6 months. Few reported having purchased cigarettes that may have been smuggled.

More than half of respondents (57.7%) reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in the past month, including 13.4% who were exposed daily or almost daily. Exposure was most prevalent among males, young people, and current smokers.