past 25 years, the proportion of Canadians who smoke cigarettes regularly has
a public health success story!
The Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) provides the following figures for 2009:
- the population aged 15+ was 27,678,753.
- there were 4,851,274 current smokers (17.5%)
- a further 7,414,912 were former smokers who had quit.
These figures for current smokers compare to the 2002 figure of about 5.4 million people, or 21% of the population aged 15 and over.
Back in 1966 the figure was 41%.
(Sources: 2009 and 2000 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Surveys, conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada).
- Smoking rates in Ottawa declined from 23.6% in 2001 to 15.1% in 2007 (Ottawa Public Health department)
- From 1980 to
1990, sales figures showed a 35% decline in tobacco
- The numbers of
cigarettes smoked per smoker each day also appears to be falling, from an average of 21 in 1985 to 16 in 2002
Canada news report
2000, Canada had more ex-smokers than
current smokers. At that time, about 5.9 million people (24% of the population aged 15 and
older) still smoked daily or occasionally, but about 6 million people
reported that they had quit.
- The CTUMS web site is worth visiting. (But as they persist in altering its URL, I cannot give you a direct link: just Google it).
- Young adults
aged 20 to 24 have the highest smoking rates of any age group (35% of men and 30% of women). These rates have
remained constant over the past few years (Stats
Can survey, December 2002).
- Teenagers aged
15 to 19 have the second highest smoking rates, at about 26%, up from 22% during the early 1990s, but the rate has
been stable since the mid-1990s. About 27% of teenage girls smoked in
2000, compared with 23% of their male counterparts.
- Although smoking rates among men dropped from 54% in 1966 to 26% in 1991, the
percentage of smokers among women dipped only slightly, from 28% to 26%.
In fact, in 1991 at ages 15-19, 20% of the women aged 15-19 were regular
smokers, compared to 12% of men.
- It appears that smoking rates may be higher in the GLBTQ community. The 2007 Toronto Rainbow Tobasso Survey reported smoking rates of 36% compared to 17% of Toronto adults aged 18+. (Link).
consumption is lower in provinces with higher cigarette taxes and prices.
Smokers consumed an average of between 14.0 and 15.5 cigarettes a day in British
Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland, which have
comparatively high taxes and prices. In other provinces, consumption varies
between 17.5 and 18.0 cigarettes a day.
More Quebecers smoke (about 26% in 2002), and they smoke more cigarettes
per day. For more information on the survey
results, contact Anne Zaborski (613-954-0152;
firstname.lastname@example.org), Tobacco Control Programme,
- A carton of
cigarettes (i.e. 8 packages of 25 cigarettes) cost $72 in BC in 2002, compared
to $52 in Ontario (36 cents per cigarette, versus 26 cents).
Roughly 37 billion
cigarettes are sold in Canada each year.
- Smoking is
responsible for about one-third of the potential years of life lost (PYLL) due
to cancer, about one-quarter of PYLL due to diseases of the heart and about
one-half of PYLL due to respiratory disease. The Canadian Cancer Society has some very interesting (ppt slides on cancer trends)
The decline in smoking illustrates the use
of multiple strategies to combat a public health problem. No single
strategy is adequate, and all run the risk of a backlash.
decline has been due to a combination of shifting public attitudes, price rises
due to taxation, campaigns by the anti-smoking lobby and the ensuing legislation against smoking in public places. At the same time, methods such as
the nicotine patch to help people stop smoking have allowed physicians to play a
more effective role.
The Ontario story
of imposing high taxes on tobacco and the resulting smuggling from New York
state illustrates how any pricing policy has to
consider what is happening in other countries.
topics: What may be the implications
of the rise in smoking among young women for mortality trends? Lung cancer
mortality in women has now overtaken that of breast cancer. What
should we be doing about this: as individuals and as
|This advert was from the 1930s. Cigarette companies apparently produced medical adverts in response to public concern over perceived dangers of smoking. Stanford U has assembled a gallery of old tobacco adverts.
Nerd's Corner: The economic cost of smoking
|You get very different pictures of the health care costs due to cigarette smoking if you look at individual costs, comparing the health care consumption of a smoker and a non-smoker at each age, versus calculating the total population cost due to smoking at each age. The left panel shows that health care costs for smokers (red line) are higher at each age. However, overall smokers actually cost the health care system less because they die younger (green & blue lines in right diagram): see these figures for Dutch men (statistics from 1988)
April 3, 2013