Tobacco Use in Canada
Patterns and Trends - 2014 Edition

II: quitting smoking: HIGHLIGHTS


In 2012:

  • The majority of Canadians who have ever been smokers have now quit.

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of smokers were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months; one in three (29%) were considering quitting in the next month.
    • Similar percentages of males and females were seriously considering quitting smoking in the next 6 months, but more males were considering quitting in the next month.
    • Intentions to quit did not differ significantly by age group; the majority of smokers in all age groups were considering quitting.

  • Almost half of smokers (48%) tried to quit in the past year. Many tried more than once.
    • A greater percentage of males had made a quit attempt, compared to females.
    • Quit attempts varied by age group. The percentage of smokers who had tried to quit was highest among young smokers, and appeared to decline with age.

  • Among respondents who had made a quit attempt in the past year, 13% were still abstinent from smoking at the time they were surveyed.

  • The most common strategy for trying to quit smoking was to “reduce the number of cigarettes smoked,” used by 64% of smokers who attempted to quit.

    • More than half (54%) of smokers who attempted to quit used some form of cessation assistance.
    • The most commonly used form of cessation assistance was nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), used by 35% of those who attempted to quit.
    • One in five used a “medication like Zyban.”
    • Around one in five (21%) “made a deal with a friend or family member to quit together.”
    • Few (<5%) used services such as telephone quitlines or workplace programs.
  • Stop-smoking medications, including NRT, were used by nearly half (44%) of those who attempted to quit, but use varied by product and by province.
  • 56% of smokers who visited a doctor in the past year had received advice to quit.