. In 1989, approximately 6.5 million Canadians, or 32 % of the population 15 years of age or over, were cigarette smokers. About 33 % of men and 31 % of women were smokers.
. The highest rates of tobacco consumption, namely 35 % and 37 %, are found in the 20‑54 age group. Rates are lower among teenagers (23 %) and among older Canadians (19 %).
. In the 15‑34 age group, women consume tobacco as much as men, but the rate of consumption among older individuals is higher for men.
. Tobacco use is higher in Quebec (35 %) and in the Maritimes (33 %), and lower in British Columbia (28 %). For men, rates of consumption vary considerably from region to region, but for women there is little regional variation except in Quebec, where the rate is high.
. The rate of tobacco use decreases as the level of education increases. Individuals who have a high school diploma or less are more likely to smoke than people with a university education.
. The rate of consumption among those earning $ 60,000 or more per year is one third lower than among those who earn less than $ 30,000.
. Managers, students and retirees are less likely to smoke (23 % to 29 %). The highest smoking rates are found among blue collar workers and people looking for work (41 % and 42 %).
. For young adults and for older individuals, tobacco consumption is higher among Francophones and lower among those whose first language is neither English nor French. There are no differences by language for smokers in the 35‑54 age bracket.
. In general, one quarter of Canadians smoke 1 to 10 cigarettes per day, 62 % 11 to 25 cigarettes, and 10 % smoke 26 or more cigarettes. Men between 34 and 54 years of age are the biggest consumers of tobacco. Women are more likely than men to smoke 1 to 10 cigarettes per day.
. When we look at trends over the years, we find that the predominant use of tobacco has gradually declined since 1965. The greatest declines have taken place primarily among young people 15 to 19 years of age. Teenagers, both boys and girls, are now less likely to smoke than they were in the past.
. From 1966 to 1988, the proportion of those who smoke the largest number of cigarettes increased, but in 1989 it declined. The greatest decline is again found among young people.