Map of Simcoe Muskoka


Smoking Initiation

According to the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), from 2015-2016, about half of current or former adult (20+ years) smokers in Simcoe Muskoka reported smoking their first whole cigarette before they were 16 years of age and less than one-fifth reported waiting until they were at least 19 years of age (the legal smoking age in Ontario) before smoking their first cigarette. The rate of first smoking before 16 years of age was significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka at 50% (44.6%, 55.2%), when compared with the province overall at 41% (39.9%, 42.3%).


Also from (CCHS) in 2015-2016, current daily smokers were asked when they first began to smoke cigarettes daily. Approximately one-quarder of Simcoe Muskoka adult (20+ years) daily smokers reported smoking daily before the age of 16, which was similar to the provincial average for the same survey period.


Provincially, early daily smoking initiation is highest among those with lower levels of income and education. According the CCHS, in 2015-2016, the per cent of Ontario daily smokers (20+ years) that began smoking daily before 16 years of age was highest among those with a high school diploma or less and lowest was those with a University degree or higher. Daily smoking before 16 years of age is also highest among those in the lowest income quintile.