This post reports on the results of data provided by Statistics Canada as a custom tabulation (purchased data extraction). The data cited in this post are linked at the bottom of this page.
NB: Methodological concerns with the 2020 CCHS survey
Last September, Statistics Canada released some of the results of the 2020 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). Among the data made available on their web-site were estimates of the number of Canadians who smoked on a daily or occasional basis. The 2020 data was considered good news: smoking rates had fallen to 13% - a welcome reduction by half of the proportion of Canadians who were smoking at the beginning of the century.Celebration of this accomplishment was muted somewhat by the disclaimer that Statistics Canada had placed on the data. Because of COVID-19, surveyors had not been active during the summer, as they normally would have been. Face-to-face interviews had been terminated, and Canadians no longer had to look the interviewer in the eye as they reported on their health habits. The survey had captured more Canadians with higher education and homes than in previous cycles. As discussed here earlier, all of these methodological adjustments could be expected to somewhat depress measures of smoking. The agency has warned that: "users are advised to use the CCHS 2020 data with caution."
- The drop in smoking results from a growth in the never smoking population, not an increase in quitting.
- Relatively few Canadian smokers (2%) are switching to vaping.
- Legalizing vaping has not increased recent quitting rates.
- Most (71%) Canadian vapers are not reducing harm
- Trying a vaping product results in daily use for 1 in 8 Canadians
- Population turn-over has contributed to reductions in smoking rates.
The CCHS reported 4 million of a population of 32.1 million aged 12+ (12.6%)
The CCHS reported 1.08 million of a population of 32.1 miillion aged 12+ (3.3%)
The CCHS reported 4.64 million Canadians either smoked or vaped (or both) of a population of 32.1 million aged 12+ (14.4%)
- Daily Smoker: someone who smokes on a daily basis
- Occasional Smoker: someone who identifies as a smoker, but does not smoke daily.
- Current smoker: someone who smokes on a daily or occasional basis
- Past year quitter: someone who has smoked more than 100 cigarettes in lifetime, but stopped doing so within the past year
- Other Former Smoker: has smoked more than 100 cigarettes in lifetime, but stopped doing so more than a year ago
- Former smoker: someone who has smoked more than 100 cigarettes in lifetime, but no longer smokes.
- Experimenter: has smoked between 1 and 100 cigarettes, but does not currently smoke.
- Abstainer: Has never smoked a cigarette
- Never smoker: someone who has never smoked 1 cigarette or who has smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes.