Smoking rates down in Canada

Canada’s smoking rate dropped to 17 percent last year – the lowest level ever recorded – from a high of 25 percent in 1999, according to a government survey released Wednesday.

Burning Cigarette

A burning cigarette in a hand

According to the annual Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada, 4.7 million Canadians still smoke, but this is much fewer (500,000) than in 2007.

As well, key age groups saw “significant declines,” it said.

For example, in 2010 smoking among teens aged 15 to 17 fell to nine percent – the lowest recorded rate in an age group often seen as key in the fight against smoking, Health Canada said a statement.

Since it was first measured in 1999, smoking prevalence in Canada has continually declined. The government attributes the drop to stricter controls on tobacco sales and marketing.

In 2010, 13 percent reported smoking daily, while four percent reported smoking occasionally. More males (20 percent) reported smoking than females (14 percent).

Daily smokers smoked an average of 15.1 cigarettes per day.

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