2014 Minors’ Access to Tobacco Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information about the general awareness of legal age limits on retailer tobacco sales, and the opinion and behaviours which support reducing minors’ access to tobacco among adults aged 19 and over living in Halton Region.

Background

Tobacco use among youth can be very detrimental to their overall health.1 The short-term negative health effects of smoking include asthma, chest colds and bronchitis.1 Continued use through adulthood can increase one’s risk of lung, respiratory and upper digestive tract cancers, as well as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease.2 Furthermore, 8 out of 10 teens who try smoking become addicted and 90% of youth still smoking by age 19 will become long term smokers.3 Limiting minors’ access to tobacco is an important prevention measure to decrease the number of youth that smoke.

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Key Findings

Awareness of the Legal Age Limit on Retail Tobacco Sales

Trends Over Time

  • In 2014, 34% of Halton adults knew that the legal age limit on retail tobacco sales is 19 years old. 58% did not know the correct legal limit. More specifically, 7% thought it was 17 years old or younger, 42% thought it was 18 years old, and 9% thought it was 20 years old or older. 8% were not sure what the legal age limit is.
  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who knew that the legal age limit on retail tobacco sales is 19 years old decreased from 39% to 34%, and this decrease was statistically significant.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who knew that the legal age limit on retail tobacco sales is 19 years old.

Age

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who knew that the legal age limit on retail tobacco sales is 19 years old decreased with age. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 19-44 and 45-64 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who knew that the legal age limit on retail tobacco sales is 19 years old.

Income

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who knew that the legal age limit on retail tobacco sales is 19 years old.

Education

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults aged 25 and over who knew that the legal age limit on retail tobacco sales is 19 years old.

Asked by a Minor to Give or Buy them Cigarettes

Trends Over Time - Give Cigarettes

  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who reported being asked by a minor to give them cigarettes decreased from 11% to 2%, and this decrease was statistically significant.

Trends Over Time - Buy Cigarettes

  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who reported being asked by a minor to buy them cigarettes decreased from 12% to 2%, and this decrease was statistically significant.

Actions Against Stores that Sell Tobacco to Minors

Trends Over Time

  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who reported thinking that stores that sell tobacco to minors should no longer be allowed to sell tobacco increased from 79% to 92% and this increase was statistically significant.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported thinking that stores that sell tobacco to minors should no longer be allowed to sell tobacco.

Age

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults who reported thinking that stores that sell tobacco to minors should no longer be allowed to sell tobacco.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported thinking that stores that sell tobacco to minors should no longer be allowed to sell tobacco.

Income

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported thinking that stores that sell tobacco to minors should no longer be allowed to sell tobacco was highest in the middle income group. This difference was statistically significant when comparing the middle income group to the low income group.

Education

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported thinking that stores that sell tobacco to minors should no longer be allowed to sell tobacco.

References

  1. Health Canada. 2008. Tobacco Youth Health Concerns. Accessed July 2015 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/youth-jeunes/scoop-primeur/index-eng.php#know (external link)
  2. Health Canada. 2011. Smoking and Your Body. Accessed July 2015, from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/body-corps/index-eng.php (external link)
  3. Halton Region. n.d. Tobacco Facts for School. Accessed July 2015 from http://www.halton.ca/cms/One.aspx?portalId=8310&pageId=91210