‘Passive smoking,’ or exposure to second-hand smoke, has negative respiratory health effects. Two of the most common associated diseases are lung cancer in adults and asthma among children.
The proportion of non-smokers aged 12 and older who were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home has declined since 2003, reaching 5.9% in 2010.
More men than women were exposed to second-hand smoke at home (Chart 1).
Young Canadians aged 12 to 19 made up one-third of the 1.3 million non-smokers who were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home, even though they only made up one-eighth of the total group of non-smokers.
In 2010, 14.9% of young Canadians aged 12 to 19 were exposed to second-hand smoke at home—falling from 23.4% in 2003 to 15.5% in 2008 and not changing significantly since (Chart 1).
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
In 2010, exposure to second-hand smoke at home was highest among those aged 12 to 19. Men aged 20 to 34 were significantly more likely than women to be exposed to second-hand smoke at home; however, there was no significant difference between the sexes in other age groups (Chart 2).
E Use with caution (coefficient of variation 16.6% to 33.3%).
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2010.
Only Ontario (5.0%), and British Columbia (2.8%), posted rates of exposure to second-hand smoke at home below the national average. Nova Scotia (8.6%), and Quebec (8.7%), were above the national average.
Shields, Margot. 2007. “Smoking—prevalence, bans and exposure to second-hand smoke.” Health Reports, vol.18, no. 3: 67–85. /pub/82-003-x/2006007/article/smoking-fumer/10198-eng.pdf (accessed June 3, 2010)
Pérez, Claudio E. 2004. “Second-hand smoke exposure—who's at risk.” Health Reports, vol. 16, no.1, 9–17. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2004/7037-eng.pdf (accessed June 3, 2010)
Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501 and summary tables Exposure to second-hand smoke at home, by age group and sex and Exposure to second-hand smoke at home, by sex, provinces and territories.