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Reports on Tobacco Use

The Health Stats section offers the most up to date statistics on tobacco use collected through the Canadian Community Health Survey and local surveying done by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at York University on behalf of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and other health units. We have been participating in the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys since 2001.

Highlights include:


  • Approximately half of current or former adult smokers smoked their first whole cigarette before the age of 16 and one-quarter of daily smokers began smoking daily before they were 16 years old.
  • Current smoking among adults in Simcoe Muskoka has significantly declined over the past decade. In 2011/12, one in five adults reported smoking cigarettes daily or occasionally, compared with one in three in 2000/01.
  • Youth smoking in Ontario is at an all-time low with less than 10 per cent reporting smoking in the past year. The vast majority of Simcoe Muskoka youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years have never smoked a whole cigarette in their life.
  • There are now twice as many former smokers than current smokers in Simcoe Muskoka.

Secondhand Smoke

  • More homes than ever in Simcoe Muskoka are completely free of secondhand smoke, with nine in 10 households reporting that smoking is never allowed inside of the home.
  • Fewer Ontario children are being exposed to secondhand smoke while riding in private vehicles (one in 10 in 2011-2012 compared to one in five in 2003).

Tobacco Control

  • The majority of Simcoe Muskoka adults support banning smoking at outdoor public places like playgrounds and sports fields and inside multi-unit residential dwellings like apartments and townhomes.
  • Less than one in 10 tobacco retailers in Simcoe Muskoka sold cigarettes to under-aged youth during their most recent 'test shopping' compliance inspection. This is where under-aged shoppers attempt to buy cigarettes to test compliance with youth access restrictions while under the supervision of a tobacco enforcement officer.
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