Ever smoking - Grades 7-9

In 2016-17, the majority (91.4%a) of students surveyed in grades 7-9 had never tried smoking cigarettes, ranging from 95.6%b in grade 7 to 86.5%c in grade 9. However, 8.6%d of students overall had tried smoking. Figure 7.1 (below) provides a breakdown of the smoking status of these students.

See data table below with 95% confidence intervals.

In 2016-17, the percentages of male (9.1%)e and female (8.1%)f students in grades 7-9 who had tried smoking cigarettes were not significantly different.78


The overall percentage of students in grades 7-9 who had ever tried smoking dropped substantially between 1994 and 2002, and appears to have declined slowly since then; the slight decrease in prevalence of ever smoking between 2014-15 and 2016-17 was not statistically significant79 (Figure 7.2). The percentage of students who had tried smoking a cigarette increased with grade level: in 2016-17, 4.4%g of students in grade 7 had tried smoking, compared to 13.5%h of grade 9 students.

See data table below with 95% confidence intervals.


See data table below with 95% confidence intervals.The percentage of students in grades 7-9 who had ever tried smoking a cigarette varied significantly by province80 (Figure 7.3). For example, 4.7% of youth in Ontario had tried smoking, while more than triple that (16.4%) in Saskatchewan had tried.

Note that there are no provincial estimates reported for New Brunswick, as the province declined to participate in the 2016-17 cycle of CSTADS.


95% confidence intervals for in-text estimates 

a: 91.4 [90.6-92.2]
b: 95.6 [94.7-96.5]
c: 86.5 [85.0-87.9]
d: 8.6 [7.8-9.4]
e: 9.1 [8.0-10.1]
f: 8.1 [7.3-9.0]
g: 4.4 [3.5-5.3]
h: 13.5 [12.1-15.0]