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Youth tobacco use

Among youth in grades 6-9, in 2014-15:

8.1% of students in grades 6-9 overall had ever tried a cigarette, ranging from 2.6% in grade 6 to 15.5% in grade 9.

Three out of ten never-smokers in grades 6-9 were classified as susceptible to smoking.

Less than 2% of students in grades 6-9 were current smokers overall, although the exact estimate cannot be reported.

  • Prevalence increased with grade level, to a high of 2.2% among grade 9 students.
  • Similar percentages of males and females were current smokers.

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, including buying, taking, or being given cigarettes by friends, family or others, or having others buy for them.

Nearly seven out of ten current smokers in grades 6-9 reported ever trying to quit smoking.

Among youth aged 15-19, in 2015:

Less than one in five (18.2%) youth reported ever having smoked a whole cigarette, ranging from 4.1% of 15-year-olds to one-third (32.6%) of 19-year-olds.

One in ten youth aged 15-19 (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.

  • Similar percentages of youth smoked daily (4.3%) and non-daily (5.4%).
  • Prevalence among males (11.0%) and females (8.3%) was not significantly different.
  • Saskatchewan had the highest provincial prevalence estimate, at 13.7%.

22% of youth aged 15-19 had ever smoked a cigarillo; 13% had ever smoked a cigar.

  • Males were more likely to have used these products: 18% of males (vs. 7% of females) had smoked a cigar, while 27% of males (vs. 16% of females) had smoked a cigarillo.

Daily smokers aged 15-19 smoked an average of 11.6 cigarettes per day.

Nearly half of smokers aged 15-18 usually bought cigarettes from a store, while four in ten were given cigarettes by social sources, and 16% obtained them through “other” sources (including buying from others and on First Nations Reserves).

Six out of ten smokers aged 15-19 were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months.

Two-thirds (65%) of smokers aged 15-19 had made a quit attempt in the past 12 months.