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Sources of cigarettes

Sources of cigarettes for students in Grades 6-9

 "I buy them myself at a store", "I buy them from a friend', and "I buy them from someone else"; "My brother or sister gives them to me", "My mother or father gives them to me" and "I take them from my mother/father/siblings"; "A friend gives them to me" and "Someone else gives them to me". Data source: Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2014-15. See data table with 95% confidence intervals below.In 2014-15, when smokers in grades 6-9 were asked where they usually got their cigarettes, most reported obtaining them from social sources. Nearly one-quarter of smokers usually asked someone to buy cigarettes for them, and another 20% bought them from a friend or someone else. More than one-quarter reported being given cigarettes by a friend, family member or someone else, or taking them from a family member (Figure 9.1).

 Sources of cigarettes for 15- to 18-year-olds

 “Buy from store” includes "Small grocery/corner store", "Supermarket" and "Another kind of store"; “Get free from family/friend/someone else” includes being given by mother/father, or friend/someone else; “Other” includes “Buy on a First Nations reserve”, “Buy from friend/someone else”, and “Other”. Data source: Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2015. See data table with 95% confidence intervals below.

The legal age to purchase cigarettes is 19 in most provinces, with the exception of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec, where the legal purchase age is 18. In the age group 15-18, most of the smokers surveyed would be underage for purchasing cigarettes.

In 2015, when smokers aged 15-18 were asked where they usually got their cigarettes, almost half reported purchasing them from a retail source, primarily small grocery/corner stores (Figure 9.2). Nearly four in ten reported being given cigarettes by another person, including friends, family and others. Approximately one in six (15.8%) reported getting cigarettes from “other” sources, which included First Nations reserves and purchasing from friends/others.