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Do Canadians Vape or Smoke Cigarettes More?

Vaping’s popularity is on the rise in Canada — and for good reason. Vaping is an excellent way to leave that pack of cigarettes behind and kick your addiction to nicotine. 

E-cigarettes and vaping first came to Canada in 2004, but the technology powering them has gone through an amazing evolution in the past few years, making vapes a viable and attractive option for smokers looking to shake cigarettes once and for all.


Cigarette Use in Decline

Statistics Canada reports that Canadians 25 and older are nearly 3.5 times more likely to self-report as “current smokers” compared to younger Canadians. This stark difference in the age groups could be attributed to how much we know about the dangers of cigarette smoking these days, meaning younger people are less likely to take up cigarettes in the first place.

In fact, just 1 in 10 Canadians self-reported as being a “regular cigarette smoker” in a 2020 survey, a decrease from the previous year’s number of smokers. 

But it’s not just that there are fewer people overall taking up cigarette smoking -- long-time smokers have been quitting the habit, too. The age group with the sharpest decline in smoking was young adults (ages 20-24), whose numbers decreased to 8% from 13% in 2019. 

The act of smoking cigarettes is clearly falling in popularity in the Great White North, especially among young people.


Vaping on the Rise

While the earlier types of vaping devices were cumbersome, indiscreet, and didn’t have the same gratification as smoking cigarettes, today’s devices are small, sleek, and satisfying.  

In 2019, the CBC reported that newer vaping devices “mimic the physical feeling of a cigarette on the throat and use what are known as ‘nicotine salts.’” Nicotine salts use the traditional freebase nicotine which is extracted from tobacco leaves in combination with organic acids, such as benzoic acid, to offer a higher level of nicotine without the harshness of freebase at the same level.

Smokers looking to use vaping as a quit-smoking aid find that the sensation delivered by nicotine salts is more evocative of smoking cigarettes than other styles of vape. This attractive attribute is helping smokers dump cigarettes for good.

According to the most recent Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs survey, 32% of current or former cigarette smokers surveyed reported using vaping products as a quit-smoking aid. 

A 2019 study found that vaping was a more effective smoking-cessation tool over the course of a year than nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum or patches. 

Health Canada reports that vaping is less harmful than smoking, and that “completely replacing cigarette smoking with vaping will reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.” This means that replacing your cigarette habit with vaping may be a worthwhile strategy for quitting nicotine in the long run.


Switch from Cigarettes to Vape with STLTH

STLTH began when a group of ex-smokers wanted to help others kick the habit by providing an alternative to traditional tobacco products for adult smokers. We at STLTH know the benefits of vaping first-hand, and we want to see the number of Canadian cigarette smokers decline even more.