The half-year results from the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS), for data collected between February and June, 2010, show that 18% of the Canadian population aged 15 years and older were current smokers (about 4.9 million smokers), not statistically different from the same period one year ago. More males (21%) reported smoking compared to females (14%). Smoking rates for both groups are not statistically different from the same period in 2009. Fourteen percent (14%) of Canadians reported smoking daily while 4% reported smoking occasionally. Daily smokers consumed an average of 15.3 cigarettes per day, a statistically significant increase from the 13.3 cigarettes per day reported during the same period in 2009.
Based on 2010 Wave 1 results, the current smoking rate among youth aged 15-19 years was 14% (just over 298,000 teenagers). Unchanged from the same period last year, 14% is the lowest half-year rate on record since Health Canada first reported youth smoking prevalence. Eight percent (8%) of youth reported smoking daily and youth daily smokers reported consuming an average of 11.6 cigarettes per day. Six percent (6%) of youth reported smoking occasionally.
The current smoking rate for male teenagers (13%) was similar to that of female teenagers (14%). Neither rate was statistically different from the first half of 2009. Male youth daily smokers reported consuming an average of 12.8 cigarettes per day, which was not statistically different from the average 10.4 cigarettes per day reported by female youth. The average numbers of cigarettes smoked per day were not statistically different from the first half of 2009 for either males or females.
The prevalence of smoking among youths aged 15-17 years was 11% (about 152,000 teenagers) in the first half of 2010, unchanged from the same period one year earlier. Smoking prevalence among older youth aged 18-19 years was 18%, with the rate for males dropping statistically significantly to 16% during February-June 2010 from 24% in the same period of 2009. Current smoking among females in this age group (20%) was not statistically different from 2009 Wave 1 (16%).
During the first half of 2010, the prevalence of smoking among young adults aged 20-24 years was 20% (about 456,000 young adults), with the smoking rate for males, 23%, and for females, 17%. None of these rates is statistically different from the first half of 2009, nor was the smoking rate for males statistically different from that of females.
There were no statistically significant changes in daily smoking rates or number of cigarettes smoked per day among young adults relative to the same period in 2009. The rate of daily smoking was 13%; 14% among males and 11% among females. Daily smokers consumed an average of 12.6 cigarettes per day.
Canadian daily smokers aged 15 years and older consumed an average of 15.3 cigarettes per day in the first half 2010, statistically significantly higher than the 13.3 during the same period in 2009.
In the first half of 2010, 11% of Canadian households reported at least one person who smoked inside the home every day or almost every day. Among the remaining homes, 9% allowed smoking inside, not statistically different from 2009 Wave 1 (8%). Forty-three percent (43%) of households in which smoking was allowed in the home or where someone smoked regularly inside the home, placed some restriction on it. Nationally, 5% of children aged 0-11 years and 8% of children aged 12-17 years were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home.
Current smokers were asked if they had made any attempts to purchase cigarettes at a lower cost. The 2010 Wave 1 results revealed that during the past 6 months, 35% of current smokers purchased discount-brand cigarettes and 16% bought cigarettes from a First Nation's Reserve; neither of these is statistically different from 2009 Wave 1. Some smokers reported buying multiple types of lower-cost cigarettes.
Among current youth (15-19 years) smokers, 61% were not yet the legal age to purchase tobacco products in their respective provinces. Of these youth, nearly half (44%) reported that they purchased tobacco products from a small grocery/corner store, representing approximately 78,000 underage youth.
CTUMS asked respondents about their exposure to second-hand smoke in places other than their own home. Reported exposure to second-hand smoke in the past month was as follows: 54% on a sidewalk/in a park, 52% at an entrance to a building, 20% inside a car or other vehicle and 18% at the workplace, none of which are statistically different from the first half of 2009. Overall, 34% of respondents reported being exposed to second-hand smoke at least once a week, while 10% reported it occurring every day and 11% reported exposure almost everyday, all unchanged from 2009.
CTUMS 2010 Wave 1 continued to monitor the use of little cigars. More than one-third (38%) of Canadians 15 years and older reported having ever tried little cigars, and 3% reported smoking little cigars in the past 30 days, levels which are not statistically different from 2009 results. Among Canadian youth aged 15-19, 31% reported having ever tried little cigars and 8% reported smoking a little cigar in the past 30 days, also not statistically different from the first half of 2009.
Almost half (47%) of young adults aged 20-24 reported having ever tried little cigars, while 9% reported smoking a little cigar in the past 30 days. Neither is statistically different from the same period in 2009.
Only 8% of Canadians 15 years and older report having ever tried smokeless tobacco products; not statistically different from 2009 results. Sample size was too small to report on past 30-day use.
CTUMS was developed to provide Health Canada and its partners with timely, reliable and continual data on tobacco use and related issues. The survey's primary objective is to track changes in smoking status and amount smoked, especially for 15 to 24 year olds, who are most at risk for taking up smoking. CTUMS 2010 Wave 1 collected data from over 9,000 respondents from February to June 2010. The overall margin of error for the smoking rate for Canada is +/- 1.5%. We expect the true smoking prevalence for this population to be between 16.0% and 19.0%, 19 times out of 20.
Note that when comparing results across different data releases of CTUMS, Health Canada advises that it is more accurate and reliable to compare results from one wave with those of other waves and to compare annual results with other annual results.
For more information about the survey and/or its results, please contact Health Canada by email (email@example.com), toll free telephone number (1-866-318-1116), fax (613-954-2377) or visit www.gosmokefree.gc.ca.
For information on the public-use microdata file, contact Statistics Canada's Client Services, Special Surveys Division (1-800-461-9050; 613-951-3321; fax: 613-951-4527; firstname.lastname@example.org.