Sources of cigarettes

Sources of cigarettes for students in Grades 7-9

In 2018-19, when smokers in grades 7-9 were asked where they usually got their cigarettes, most reported obtaining them from social sources. More than one-quarter of smokers usually asked someone to buy cigarettes for them, and nearly as many bought them from a friend or someone else. Three in ten reported being given cigarettes by a friend, family member or someone else, or taking them from a family member (Figure 8.1).

Pie chart showing usual sources of cigarettes for current smokers in grades 7 to 9, from 2018 to 2019. Trends described in text. Data table below with 95% confidence intervals.

Figure 8.1 data table with 95% confidence intervals

Figure 8.1: Usual sources of cigarettes for current smokers* in Grades 7-9, 2018-19
Source %
Buy them myself at a store 10.5 [5.8-15.1]
Buy from a friend 16.8 [11.9-21.7]
Buy from someone else 5.4 [3.3-7.6]
Ask someone to buy them for me 26.7 [20.4-32.9]
Given by a sibling or parent 7.4 [4.7-10.2]
Given by a friend or someone else 17.0 [11.4-22.7]
Take them from parent or sibling 4.9 [2.6-7.2]
Other 11.2 [6.9-15.5]

*Current smoker: smoked 100+ cigarettes in lifetime and smoked in the past 30 days.

NOTE: Some categories have been combined: “My brother or sister gives them to me” and “My mother or father gives them to me”; “A friend gives them to me” and “Someone else gives them to me”; “I buy them from a First Nation reserve (i.e. delivery service)” and “I buy them on a First Nation reserve” included with “Other”.

Data source: Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2018-19.

Note: Sources of cigarettes among older youth were reported in previous editions, but are not included on the CTNS.