Cessation methods

The 2020 CTNS asked about a number of cessation methods; estimates of their use in the past 12 months are presented in Figure 5.17. Most smokers (65.0%a) had tried to quit on their own, and reducing cigarette consumption as a way to quit was cited by half (49.4%) of smokers who tried to quit. However, more than two-thirds of smokers (68.4%b) who attempted to quit had used some form of cessation assistance. Nearly one-third (31.8%) used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and over one-quarter (26.5%) reported using an e-cigarette as a cessation aid (see also Reasons for Use of E-cigarettes). Other methods were less popular: 12.5% made a deal with friends or family to quit, and the proportions using a telephone quitline and smartphone app or internet-based program were not reportable. In addition, 27.9%c reported using an ‘other’ method not listed.

Use of cessation assistance was also included in some of the previous CTUMS waves, as well as in CTADS and CTNS (see Figure 5.17). Note that caution should be used when comparing to previous estimates, due to changes in question coverage; recent quitters and smokers who attempted to quit in the last year were asked in CTNS 2019 and 2020, and CTADS 2013 and 2015, while those who attempted to quit in the past 2 years were asked in CTUMS (2003-2012) and in CTADS 2017.

Line graph showing prevalence of use of various quit methods among current and former smokers who had quit or attempted to quit in the past 2 years or past 12 months from 2003 to 2020. Trends described in text. Data table below with 95% confidence intervals.


95% confidence intervals for in-text estimates

a: 65.0 [59.0-70.9]
b: 68.4 [62.5-74.3]
c: 27.9 [21.9-33.9]