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Smoking Statistics in Canada

Smoking statistics for Canada are generated by the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) which collects data on tobacco use and related issues in Canada. The data collected provides useful information on both the incidence (number of new smokers) and the prevalence (total number of smokers) of smoking in the Canadian population.

Overall the long term trends show that the prevalence of smoking in Canada is decreasing from a high of 35% of the population in 1985 to less than 20% of the population in 2007. The first wave of 2008 smoking statistics from the CTUMS show that prevalence could now be approaching 18%.

The province of British Columbia has the lowest rate of prevalence for smoking across the country (15%) with Saskatchewan having the highest prevalence at 21%. All other provinces were very close to the national average of 18%.

Here is how the Canadian smoking statistics break down by age groups. As all the data from 2008 is not yet available this data is from the first half of 2008.

  • 15-19 yrs old 15% of this population classify themselves as smokers. While unchanged from the previous year this does represent the lowest rate since Canada began collecting and monitoring smoking statistics.
  • 20-24 yrs old. 28% of this population are smoking. Among this age group males continue to smoke at a higher rate but smoke more cigarettes per capital than the female smoking population in this age group.
  • 30-50 yrs old represent the age group that is giving up smoking at the the highest rate.

There has been a consistent effort on the part of governments to get the message out about the smoking risks to health. Smoking laws have been passed in many provinces and municipalities that prevent smoking in public buildings of any kind ( even bars and restaurants). Recently the laws in Vancouver BC and surrounding areas have been extended to included a ban on smoking within 7 meters of a building entrance. If you are going to smoke in that area you really have to work at it.

Since the smoking statistics show a clear drop in the prevalence of smoking it is clear there are a significant number of Canadians who are giving up smoking. But more importantly less and less Canadians are being influenced to take up the habit in the first place.

So of those people who are still in the smoking minority who are they? An examination of the social epidemiology reveals some interesting smoking statistics.

The highest prevalence of smokers is among the unemployed, poorly educated, and low income populations. The very people who have the least amount of disposable income purchase the majority of cigarettes. For this population at least, it would appear that the economic impact of cigarette smoking is not important enough to motivate a change in smoking behaviour.

About the author: These statitics represent the smoking facts in Canada, but what is smoking fiction? Visit where Beverly OMalley answers the question Why Do People Smoke? and sheds light on the the causes of drug addiction including nicotine.


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