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Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2015 (updated)

Released: 2016-11-09

The number of cigarette smokers in Canada fell in 2015. According to data from the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 13.0% of the population aged 15 and older were current cigarette smokers in 2015 (3.9 million smokers) (updated), down from 14.6% (4.2 million smokers) in 2013.

In 2015, 9.3% of Canadians (2.8 million) reported smoking daily, a decrease from 10.8% (3.1 million) in 2013. However, the rate of occasional smoking (3.6%) (updated) was unchanged from 2013. A higher percentage of males (15.6%, or 2.3 million) than females (10.4%, or 1.6 million) reported being current smokers.

In 2015, young adults aged 20 to 24 continued to have the highest cigarette smoking rate, at 18.5% (452,000 smokers) (updated), a rate that was relatively unchanged from 2013. Just under 1 in 10 youth aged 15 to 19 (9.7%, or 201,000 youth) were current daily or occasional cigarette smokers in 2015. The only age group to record a significant change in the cigarette smoking rate in 2015 was that of adults aged 25 and older. The rate for this age group was down from 14.6% (3.6 million smokers) in 2013 to 12.7% (3.2 million smokers) in 2015.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Current cigarette smoking rates by age group, Canada
Current cigarette smoking rates by age group, Canada

Provincial smoking rates for Canadians aged 15 and older ranged from lows of 10.2% in British Columbia and 11.3% in Ontario to highs of 18.5% (updated) in Newfoundland and Labrador and 17.8% in Nova Scotia.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Current cigarette smoking rates, Canada and the provinces, 2015
Current cigarette smoking rates, Canada and the provinces, 2015

  Note to readers

The Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS) is a biennial general population survey of tobacco, alcohol and drug use among Canadians aged 15 and older. The CTADS is a telephone survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada.

The overall objective of the CTADS is to provide continual and reliable data on tobacco, alcohol and drug use and related issues, with the primary focus on 15- to 24-year-olds.

Some indicators, such as the smoking rate and alcohol consumption rate, are available at the national and provincial levels from another Statistics Canada survey, the Canadian Community Health Survey. For multiple reasons, there are certain differences between the rates of the two surveys.

Although these differences can influence estimates produced at a single point in time, the trends produced by the two surveys are comparable over time. Statistics Canada advises users to choose a single source, based on their objectives, and to use that source consistently rather than to compare smoking rates produced from the two surveys.

Differences highlighted in the text are statistically significant changes.

Products

The 2015 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey Microdata File (Catalogue number82M0020X) is now available upon request.

Additional data on tobacco, alcohol and drug use are available on the Health Canada website.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

For more information about the tobacco results, contact the Tobacco Office of Research and Surveillance at Health Canada (CTADS_Questions_ECTAD@hc-sc.gc.ca).

For more information about the drug and alcohol results, contact the Office of Drug Science and Surveillance at Health Canada (ODSS.BSSD@hc-sc.gc.ca).

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