Smoker's Helpline | Connect to Quit Smokers' Helpline
Smokers Helpline has proven tips
Remember my login

Tobacco facts

Smoking Prevalence
Nearly 4.8 million Canadians are current smokers; this represents 18% of the population aged 15 years and older.

Percent of the population over 15 that smoke, by province and territory:
Saskatchewan: 20%    Manitoba: 21%    Ontario: 17%    New Brunswick: 20%    Nova Scotia: 20%    P.E.I.: 19% Yukon: 32%

Tobacco kills more than 47,000 Canadians each year.

Desire to Quit

A majority of adult smokers (62%) intend to quit in the next 6 months.
47% of adult smokers in Canada made a serious attempt to quit smoking over the course of a year.

Tobacco Use and Cancer

The risk of developing lung cancer sharply increases with the more you smoke and the longer you smoke.
Lung cancer, the most preventable of all cancers, remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in Canada.

It is estimated that 23,400 cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in Canada in 2009.

Projected number of lung Cancer diagnoses in 2009 by province:
Saskatchewan: 650    Manitoba: 840    Ontario: 7,800    New Brunswick: 700    Nova Scotia: 870    P.E.I.: 125

Second-Hand Smoke

Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known or suspected to cause cancer.
Each year, more than 1,000 non-smoking Canadians die from second-hand smoke.

34% of Canadian respondents reported being exposed to second-hand smoke at least once a week, and another 22% reported being exposed to second-hand smoke every day or almost every day.

Progress is Being Made

Second Hand Smoke Exposure

Between 1999 and 2007, the percentage of children aged 11 years and younger regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in the home has dropped significantly throughout Canada.

Decrease in child second hand smoke exposure 1999-2007 by province:
Saskatchewan:      30% to 10%     Manitoba:       35% to 8%      Ontario:   22% to 5%  
New Brunswick:     23% to 10%     Nova Scotia:   31% to 7%      P.E.I.:      29% to 7%

Youth Smokers

Between 1999 and 2007, the percentage of youth smokers aged 15-19 years has dropped throughout Canada.

Decrease in youth smokers by province:
Saskatchewan:      31% to 22%    Manitoba:      28% to 20%     Ontario: 24 % to % 13 
New Brunswick:     27% to 17%    Nova Scotia:  30% to 13%     P.E.I.:    27 % to 13%

Similar trends have been recorded for young adults.

[Sources: Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey 2008 (CTUMS 2008) Wave 1 and annual : Ministry of Health Promotion, Creating a Smoke-free Ontario, April 2008 : Canadian Cancer Society: Second hand smoke:, Canadian Cancer Society/National Cancer Institute of Canada : Canadian Cancer Statistics 2008 : Nova Scotia Tobacco Stats (2008)]