Smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and other conditions. According to the World Health Organization, smoking is an important and preventable cause of death.
In 2014, 18.1% of Canadians aged 12 and older, roughly 5.4 million people, smoked either daily or occasionally. This is a decrease from 2013 (19.3%) and is the lowest smoking rate reported since 2001. Among the sexes, 21.4% of males and 14.8% of females reported that they smoked daily or occasionally in 2014. For males this was a decrease from 2012 and for females it was a decrease from 2013. The rates of smoking have decreased significantly since 2001 when 28.2% of males and 23.8% of females smoked daily or occasionally.
The majority of smokers, nearly 4.0 million, smoked cigarettes on a daily basis. Daily smokers can be classified as heavy, moderate or light smokers based on how many cigarettes they smoke per day. Light smokers were the most common type of daily smoker (52.7%) followed by moderate (28.9%) and then heavy smokers (18.4%; Chart 2). In 2014, males were more likely to be heavy or moderate smokers than females, while females were more likely to be light smokers than males.
|CTUMS Annual 2012||1999||2012|
‘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.
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.
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. 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%.
Smoking can be pointed at as a contributor to the Top 3 Causes of Death in Canada.
|Cause of death||2012||2011||2000|
|All causes of death||Note …: not applicable||246,596||100.0||Note …: not applicable||243,511||100.0||Note …: not applicable||218,062||100.0|
|Total, 10 leading causes of death||Note …: not applicable||184,869||75.0||Note …: not applicable||182,795||75.1||Note …: not applicable||175,149||80.3|
|Malignant neoplasms (cancer)||1||74,361||30.2||1||72,736||29.9||1||62,672||28.7|
|Diseases of heart (heart disease)||2||48,681||19.7||2||47,911||19.7||2||55,070||25.3|
|Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)||3||13,174||5.3||3||13,332||5.5||3||15,576||7.1|