Sources of cigarettes

Sources of cigarettes for students in Grades 6-9

 Youth Smoking Survey, 2012-13. See data table with 95% confidence intervals below.In 2012-13, when smokers in Grades 6-9 were asked where they usually got their cigarettes, most reported obtaining them from social sources. One third of smokers usually asked someone to buy cigarettes for them, or bought them from a friend or someone else. Nearly as many reported being given cigarettes by a friend, family member or someone else, or taking them from a family member. Approximately one in four smokers reported usually purchasing cigarettes from a store themselves (Figure 9.1).

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

 “Buy from small grocery/convenience store” also includes “Supermarket” and “Another kind of store”; “Get free from family/friend/someone else” includes being given by family/friend/someone else or taking from family; “Other” includes “Buy from a First Nations reserve”, “Buy from friend”, and “Other”. Data source: Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2013. 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 2013, when smokers aged 15-18 were asked where they usually got their cigarettes, four in 10 reported purchasing them from a retail source, primarily small grocery/convenience stores and gas stations (Figure 9.2). Nearly half reported being given cigarettes or taking them from another person, including friends, family and others. A substantial percentage (16.1%) reported getting cigarettes from “other” sources, which included First Nations reserves and purchasing from friends.