Tobacco Use in Canada
Patterns and Trends - 2014 Edition




Among youth in grades 6-9, in 2010-11:

  • 15.5% of students in grades 6-9 overall had ever tried a cigarette, ranging from 6% in grade 6 to 27% in grade 9.
  • Nearly one third of never-smokers in grades 6-9 were classified as susceptible to smoking.
  • 2.2% of students in grades 6-9 were current smokers overall, with grade-specific rates ranging from too low to report in grade 6 and 0.7% for grade 7, to 4.9% for grade 9 students.
    • Smokers were fairly evenly split between daily (0.9%) and non-daily (1.2%) smoking.
    • Similar percentages of males (2.2%) and females (2.1%) were current smokers.
    • Prevalence varied by province, and was highest in Quebec and Saskatchewan, at 4.3%.

  • Daily smokers in grades 7-9 smoked an average of 8.7 cigarettes per day.
  • 7.5% of students in grades 6-9 had ever smoked a cigar or cigarillo.
  • Most smokers in grades 6-9 usually obtained their cigarettes from social sources, including buying, taking, or being given cigarettes by friends, family or others, or having others buy for them.
  • Seven out of ten current smokers in grades 6-9 reported ever trying to quit smoking.

Among youth aged 15-19, in 2012:

  • One in four (24.3%) youth reported ever having smoked a whole cigarette, ranging from 13% of 15-year-olds to 36% of 19-year-olds.
  • 10.9% of youth aged 15-19 were current smokers overall, with age-specific rates ranging from 4.5% for 15-year-olds to 16.7% for 19-year-olds.
    • Similar percentages of youth smoked daily (6.6%) and non-daily (4.3%).
    • Prevalence was significantly higher among males (12.3%) than females (9.4%).
    • By province, prevalence ranged from 8.5% in PEI to over 20% in Saskatchewan.

  • 25% of youth aged 15-19 had ever smoked a cigarillo, and 15% had ever smoked a cigar.
    • Males were more likely to have used these products: 21% of males (vs. 9% of females) had smoked a cigar, while 29% of males (vs. 20% of females) had smoked a cigarillo.

  • Daily smokers aged 15-19 smoked an average of 11.1 cigarettes per day.
  • 58% of smokers aged 15-18 usually obtained cigarettes from retail sources, while one quarter obtained them through social sources, and 16% through “Other” sources.
  • Two-thirds of smokers aged 15-19 were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months.
  • Nearly two-thirds of smokers aged 15-19 had made a quit attempt in the past 12 months.