Tobacco use among Canadian Adults (15+), 2015
- 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%).
- Smoking prevalence was highest among young adults aged 20-24 (18.5%), and generally declined with age. Prevalence was lowest among youth aged 15-19 (9.7%) and adults age 55+ (10.6%).
- There were significant differences between provinces in smoking prevalence.
- Self-rated health varied by smoking status, with non-smokers rating their general health and mental health better than smokers.
- 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 cigarettes more per day than females (15.2 and 11.9, respectively).
Use of other tobacco products
- Cigarillos and cigars were the most popular tobacco products other than cigarettes: 2.5% of Canadians reported use in the past 30 days.
- Use of other tobacco products (cigars, cigarillos, pipe, chewing tobacco/snuff, waterpipe) was more prevalent among males, and among young adults.
- Use of cigars/cigarillos varied significantly by province.
Exposure to secondhand smoke
- More than half of respondents (57.7%) reported being exposed to SHS in the past month, including 13.4% who reported being exposed either every day or almost every day.
- SHS exposure was more prevalent among males, young people, and current smokers.
Quitting smoking, 2015
- Two-thirds (67.7%) of Canadians who have ever been smokers have now quit.
Plans to quit
- Two-thirds of smokers (65.8%) were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months; 3 in 10 (31.1%) were considering quitting in the next month.
- Similar proportions of males and females were seriously considering quitting smoking in the next 6 months and in the next month.
- The majority of smokers in all age groups were considering quitting in the next 6 months.
Quit attempts and success (abstinence)
- More than half of smokers had tried to quit in the past year; one-third tried more than once.
- Similar percentages of males and females had made a quit attempt in the past year.
- Quit attempts varied by age group. The percentage of smokers who had tried to quit was highest among young smokers, and declined with age.
- Among respondents who had made a quit attempt in the past year, 13.3% were still abstinent from smoking at the time they were surveyed.
- 6.9% of current and former smokers who tried to quit in the past year used a telephone quitline for assistance.
Reasons for quitting
- Two-thirds of former smokers who quit in the past year cited health as their main reason.
Tobacco use among Canadian youth
Youth in grades 6-9, in 2014-15:
- 8.1% of students in grades 6-9 had ever tried a cigarette.
- Less than 2% of students in grades 6-9 were current smokers overall, although the exact estimate cannot be reported.
- Smoking prevalence was similar among male and female students in grades 6-9.
- Three out of ten never-smokers in grades 6-9 were classified as susceptible to smoking.
- Daily smokers in grades 7-9 smoked an average of 8.8 cigarettes per day.
- 4.9% of students in grades 6-9 had ever smoked a cigar or cigarillo.
- Most smokers in grades 6-9 usually obtained their cigarettes from social sources.
- Nearly seven out of ten current smokers in grades 6-9 reported ever trying to quit smoking.
Youth aged 15-19, in 2015:
- Less than one in five (18.2%) youth reported ever having smoked a whole cigarette.
- One in ten youth (9.7%) were current smokers overall, with age-specific rates ranging from 5.0% among 15- and 16-year-olds to 17.7% of 19-year-olds.
- Daily smoking (4.3%) accounted for less than half of youth prevalence (5.4% non-daily).
- Prevalence did not differ significantly between males (11.0%) and females (8.3%).
- Daily smokers aged 15-19 smoked an average of 11.6 cigarettes per day.
- 21.9% of youth aged 15-19 had ever smoked a cigarillo, and 12.8% had ever smoked a cigar; 12.3% had ever used a waterpipe.
- Sex differences were apparent: 18.4% of males and 6.9% of females had smoked a cigar, while 27.1% of males and 16.4% of females had smoked a cigarillo.
- Nearly half (46.6%) of smokers aged 15-18 usually bought cigarettes from stores, while 37.7% were given cigarettes by social sources, and 15.8% obtained them through “Other” sources.
- The majority of smokers aged 15-19 were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months.
- Two-thirds (65.0%) of smokers aged 15-19 had made a quit attempt in the past 12 months.
E-cigarette use among Canadians (15+), 2015
- A substantial number of Canadians had tried e-cigarettes, but few reported regular use: 13.2% of Canadians (3.9 million) reported having ever tried an e-cigarette; 3.2% had used one in the past 30 days, and 1.0% reported daily use.
- Use of e-cigarettes increased significantly between 2013 and 2015.
- E-cigarette use was most prevalent among young people: one in four youth (aged 15-19) and three in ten young adults (aged 20-24) reported ever trying an e-cigarette.
- Prevalence of e-cigarette use was much greater among smokers: 51.0% of current smokers had ever used e-cigarettes, compared to 7.6% of non-smokers; past 30-day use was 15.5% among current smokers and 1.4% among non-smokers.
- Nearly half (47.8%) of users reported that the last e-cigarette they used contained nicotine.
- Among all ever users, nearly one-quarter (22.8%) reported using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking within the past two years.
- One in ten Canadian students in grades 6-9 reported having ever tried an e-cigarette in 2014-15; 3.2% had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.