Tobacco Use in Canada
Patterns and Trends - 2015 Edition


Grades 6-9
| Age 15-18

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

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 ten 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.