Tobacco Use Statistics

  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Tobacco use has no safe level of consumption, is highly addictive and is the only known consumer product that kills one-half of its long term users when used as intended.

    Smoking is responsible for more than 85% of lung cancer deaths in Canada. In 2010, more than 20,000 Canadians died of lung cancer. It's estimated that at least 25,000 more Canadians were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011.

    Overall, smoking causes approximately 30% of cancer deaths in Canada.

    • According to the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey in 2010, 18.8 per cent or approximately 559,300 Albertans continue to smoke.
    • Smokers in Alberta smoke on average 15 cigarettes per day each.
    • In Alberta, a large percentage of those who smoke started by the age of 14.
    • 4.5 per cent of children in Alberta are exposed at home to second hand smoke. 
    • Most smokers have tried to quit in the past.
    • There is little difference in the percentage of quit attempts by gender - almost half of all smokers try to quit every year (46.2%).
  • In Health Care Terms

    In health care, tobacco use costs Canada billions of dollars each year. Health care costs related to smoking have increased steadily since 1966. In 2002, tobacco use accounted for $4.4 billion in direct health care costs and an additional $12.5 billion of indirect costs such as lost productivity, longer-term disability and premature death.

    In Alberta, over 3,000 people die every year from tobacco-related illnesses and the healthcare costs related to tobacco use have been estimated at around $470,000,000 per year.

    In Productivity Terms

    The Conference Board of Canada has estimated that the additional cost of employing a smoker is roughly $3,400 per year.