Exposure to second-hand smoke at home, 2012

‘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 decreased to 4.7% in 2012 from 5.5% in 2011.  This rate has declined significantly since 2003 when it was 10.6%.  The rate of exposure to second hand smoke at home was the same for both males and females in 2012 (Chart 1).

In 2012, 11.4% of young Canadians aged 12 to 19 were exposed to second-hand smoke at home—falling from 23.4% in 2003 (Chart 1). This age group is the most likely to be exposed to second hand smoke at home. Of the 1.1 million non-smoking Canadians aged 12+ who were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home, the 12 to 19 age group made up 30.4%.

Chart 1 Percentage of non-smokers regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home, by sex and selected age group, household population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2003 to 2012

Description for Chart 1

 Females aged 35 to 44 were significantly more likely than males to be exposed to second-hand smoke at homeNote 1; however, there was no significant difference between the sexes in other age groups (Chart 2).

Chart 2 Percentage of non-smokers regularly exposed to  second-hand smoke at home, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 or  older, Canada, 2012

Description for Chart 2

The proportion of residents who reported exposure to second-hand smoke at home was lower than the national average (4.7%) in:

  • Ontario (4.2%)
  • British Columbia (2.6%)

The proportion of residents who reported exposure to second-hand smoke at home was higher than the national average in:

  • Prince Edward Island (8.6%)Note 2
  • Quebec (6.6%)
  • Nunavut (11.3%)Note 2

Residents of the other provincesNote 2 and of the Northwest TerritoriesNote 2 had rates that were about the same as the national averageNote 3.

End notes

  1. Note that males and females in the 35 to 44 age group had coefficients of variation between 16.6% and 33.3%; interpret with caution.
  2. Note that the rates for Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut had coefficients of variation between 16.5% and 33.3%; interpret with caution.
  3. The rate for Yukon had a coefficient of variation greater than 33.3%; this data is too unreliable to be published.

References

Shields, Margot. 2007. “Smoking—prevalence, bans and exposure to second-hand smoke.” Health Reports, 18(3): 67–85. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/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, 16(1): 9–17. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2004/7037-eng.pdf (accessed June 3, 2010)

Bearer C. 1995. “Environmental health hazards: how children are different from adults.” The Future of Children:Critical Issues for Children and Youths. Vol. 5. no. 2. pp11-26. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1602354 (accessed May 15, 2013).

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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