In 2016, 16.9% of Canadians over the age of 12, which equates to about 5.2 million people used cigarettes, declining from 17.7% in 2015. From these smokers, the majority (3.7 million) smoked on a daily basis, while the majority of non-smokers had never smoked. Interestingly over one in five Canadians (21.8%) were previous regular smokers who had managed to quit.
A number of factors are thought to be behind this decrease in smoking, amongst which the significant emergence of vaping products on the market. Canadian authorities initially adopted a forbidding stance towards the products, however many smokers were still inclined to try the devices which promised to be a healthier alternative than cigarettes.
Are e-cigs being recognized for their role in the declining smoking rates?
Thankfully the atmosphere surrounding the products may be changing. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada launched a 7-week public consultation pertaining to the future of tobacco control in Canada, with the aim of renewing the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy that expires in March 2018. The aim is to reduce the number of smokers by about two million over the next two decades.
The consultation document acknowledged that vaping products may hold potential as harm reduction tools, and referred to the fact that the UK has successfully endorsed the products as smoking cessation tools. The Canadian government said that it will be weighing the idea.
“We know that there is some evidence to suggest that the use of vaping products can be used as a harm-reduction tool for people who are current smokers,” said Health Minister Jane Philpott back in April.
Read Further : Statistics Canada