Decades of anti-smoking campaigns whittled Canada’s smoking population from about 50 percent in 1965 to less than 20 percent in 2011, but the rate of decline has slowed in recent years and five million Canadians still smoke, according to a Conference Board of Canada report Profile of Tobacco Smokers in Canada.
“It appears that, as the saying goes, the low-hanging fruit has been picked,” said Louis Thériault, director, health economics for the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care, which conducted the research. “Further reductions in smoking will need to target the segments of our population where the smoking rate is still high – lower-income Canadians, in some blue-collar occupations and in industries such as construction.
“Most smokers work, so one of the best opportunities to help smokers break the habit is through smoking cessation programs in the workplace,” he added.
The study found that in 2011, 13.7 percent of Canadians smoked on a daily basis and another 3.6 percent were occasional smokers.
Almost 20 pe cent of Canadian men and 15 percent of Canadian women smoke. But 42.5 percent of Canadians in 2011 had never smoked a cigarette.