Adult tobacco use

In 2020, among Canadians age 15 and older:

10.3% of Canadians (approximately 3.2 million) were current smokers, a significant decrease from the 2019 estimate of 11.9%.

The majority of smokers reported smoking daily (8.0% daily/2.4% non-daily prevalence). 

Smoking prevalence was higher among males (12.1%) than females (8.6%).

Prevalence varied by age group, and was highest among adults aged 45 to 54 (11.4%) and 55+ (11.4%). Prevalence was lowest among youth aged 15 to 19 (3.1%)—the lowest estimate for this age group since monitoring began. 

There were significant differences between provinces in smoking prevalence, ranging from 7.7% in BC to 14.8% in Newfoundland & Labrador.

In 2021, Canadians purchased nearly 21 billion cigarettes, down from over 42 billion in 2001. 

Daily smokers in Canada smoked an average of 12.5 cigarettes per day.

Average consumption among daily smokers has declined by nearly 5 cigarettes per day since 1999.

Male daily smokers consumed about 3 more cigarettes per day than females.

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

Cigar and cigarillo use was more prevalent among males.

Young people aged 15 to 24 reported the highest prevalence of cigar and cigarillo use.

Note: The Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey (CTNS) began in 2019, replacing the CTADS and previous surveys. Although the CTNS samples a similar population and measures the same behaviours, specific questionnaire items may differ from the previous surveys, and there are some methodological differences. Notably, the CTNS is conducted primarily online (with supplementary telephone interviews) and over a shorter time period (5-7 weeks) near the end of the calendar year, rather than telephone interviews over most of the year (as CTUMS/CTADS were). These differences may affect comparisons over time.