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Quitting smoking

Two-thirds (68%) of Canadians who have ever been smokers have now quit.

Two-thirds (66%) of current smokers were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months; three in ten (31%) 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 30 days.
  • The percentage of smokers considering quitting in the next 30 days varied significantly by age group, decreasing with age. However, intentions to quit in the next 6 months did not vary by age group; the majority of smokers in all age groups were considering quitting.

More than half of smokers tried to quit in the past year. Over one-third had tried more than once.

  • The percentages of males and females who had made a quit attempt in the past year did not differ significantly.
  • 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% were still abstinent from smoking at the time they were surveyed.

  • More females than males who attempted to quit in the past 12 months were abstinent at the time of the survey.
  • Smoking abstinence rates among those who attempted to quit in the past 12 months did not differ significantly by age group.

Most current smokers (84%) reported awareness of telephone quitlines for smoking cessation. Approximately 7% of current and former smokers who tried to quit in the past year used a telephone quitline for assistance.

Two-thirds of recent quitters cited health as their main reason for quitting smoking.