Tobacco Use in Canada
Patterns and Trends - 2015 Edition




Among youth in grades 6-9, in 2012-13:

13.5% of students in grades 6-9 overall had ever tried a cigarette, ranging from 3.4% in grade 6 to 24.0% in grade 9.

Nearly one-third of never-smokers in grades 6-9 were classified as susceptible to smoking.

1.9% of students in grades 6-9 were current smokers overall, with grade-specific rates ranging from too low to report in grade 6 and 0.9% for grade 7, to 4.2% for grade 9 students.

  • Smokers were fairly evenly split between daily (0.9%) and non-daily (1.0%) smoking.
  • Similar percentages of males (2.1%) and females (1.7%) were current smokers.
  • Prevalence varied by province, and was highest in Quebec, at 4.4%.

Daily smokers in grades 7-9 smoked an average of 10.5 cigarettes per day.

6.6% 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 2013:

One in five (20.2%) youth reported ever having smoked a whole cigarette, ranging from 7.7% of 15-year-olds to 30% and greater among 18- and 19-year-olds.

10.7% of youth aged 15-19 were current smokers overall, with age-specific rates ranging from 4.6% among 15- and 16-year-olds to 18.5% of 19-year-olds.

  • Similar percentages of youth smoked daily (5.1%) and non-daily (5.6%).
  • Prevalence was significantly higher among males (13.2%) than females (8.1%).
  • By province, prevalence ranged from 8.8% in Alberta to 13.9% In Quebec.

23% of youth aged 15-19 had ever smoked a cigarillo, and 16% had ever smoked a cigar.

  • Males were more likely to have used these products: 24% of males (vs. 8% of females) had smoked a cigar, while 30% of males (vs. 15% of females) had smoked a cigarillo.

Daily smokers aged 15-19 smoked an average of 9.2 cigarettes per day.

Four in 10 smokers aged 15-18 usually obtained cigarettes from retail sources, while nearly half (44%) got them through social sources, and 16% through “other” sources.

Six out of ten smokers aged 15-19 were seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months.

More than half (57%) of smokers aged 15-19 had made a quit attempt in the past 12 months.