Exposure to second-hand smoke at home, 2014

‘Passive smoking,’ or exposure to second-hand smoke, has negative respiratory health effects. Two of the most common diseases associated with breathing-in second-hand smoke are lung cancer in adults and asthma among children.Note 1

The proportion of non-smokers aged 12 and older who were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home was 3.9% in 2014, a decrease from 4.5% in 2013. This rate has declined significantly since 2003 when it was 10.6%. The rate of exposure to second hand smoke at home was higher for males (4.3%) than females (3.5%) in 2014 (Chart 1).

In 2014, 9.2% of young Canadians aged 12 to 19 were exposed to second-hand smoke at home—a decrease 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 almost one million non-smoking Canadians aged 12 and over who were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home, the 12 to 19 age group accounted for 27.9%.

Chart 1

Description for chart 1

Males aged 55 and older were significantly more likely than females to be exposed to second-hand smoke at homeNote 2; however, there was no significant difference between the sexes in other age groups (Chart 2).

Chart 2

Description for chart 2

The proportion of residents who reported exposure to second-hand smoke at home was lower than the national average (3.9%) in:

  • Ontario (3.4%)
  • British Columbia (2.1%)

The proportion of residents who reported exposure to second-hand smoke at home was higher than the national average in Quebec (5.7%).

Residents of the other provincesNote 3 and territoriesNote 3 had rates that were about the same as the national average.

Notes

References

Shields, Margot. 2007. “Smoking—prevalence, bans and exposure to second-hand smoke.” Health Reports. Vol. 18, no. 3. Statistics Canada no. 82-003. 67–85. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2006007/article/smoking-fumer/10198-eng.pdf.

Pérez, Claudio E. 2004. “Second-hand smoke exposure—who's at risk.” Health Reports. Vol. 16, no. 1. Statistics Canada no. 82-003. 9–17. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2004/7037-eng.pdf.

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. pp 11-26. 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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