Approximately half of current or former adult smokers in Simcoe Muskoka reported smoking their first whole cigarette before they were 16 years old and one-quarter of daily smokers started smoking cigarettes daily before the age of 16. Daily smoking before 16 years of age is highest among those with the least income.
In 2011-2012, about one in five adults in Simcoe Muskoka reported smoking daily or occasionally. Smoking in Simcoe Muskoka has been declining over the past decade is at the lowest level recorded since Statistics Canada began conducting the CCHS in 2000-2001. However, higher smoking rates persist among those with lower levels of income and education.
Youth Smoking Abstinence
Approximately nine in ten youth (12 – 18 years) in Simcoe Muskoka have never smoked a whole cigarette in their life. Smoking abstinence is highest for younger youth.
Less than one in ten Ontario junior high and high school students (grades 7-12) smoked cigarettes in the past year. There has been a decreasing trend in youth smoking across the province since the late 1990’s.
Youth E-Cigarette Vaping
Approximately one-quarter of high school students in Simcoe Muskoka have used e-cigarettes in the past year, which was significantly higher than the provincial average. Vaping nicotine and cannabis is common among e-cigarette using high school students in Simcoe Muskoka.
There are now twice as many former smokers in Simcoe Muskoka than current smokers and most have attained long-term success with two-thirds of former smokers kicking the habit 10 or more years ago.
Smoking During Pregnancy
Unborn children are vulnerable to secondhand smoke exposure. Educating pregnant women is key to protecting their unborn children from secondhand smoke. Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to low birth-weight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In 2013, more than one in ten Simcoe Muskoka mothers that gave birth in hospital reported smoking at the time of their newborn’s birth. Smoking during pregnancy was highest among teen moms (15-19 years) in Simcoe Muskoka.
Smoking Attributable Mortality (SAM)
Those who smoke have an increased risk of developing many chronic diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease. An estimated 47,000 people across Canada die each year from smoking-related causes.