2014 Tobacco Dependence Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information on tobacco use and level of addiction among adults aged 18 and over living in Halton Region.

Background

Nicotine is the component of tobacco that makes cigarettes addictive.1 Nicotine is absorbed through the lungs and moves through the bloodstream and into the brain in as little as 10 seconds.1 This almost immediately causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.1 The majority of smokers become dependent on the nicotine within tobacco products and will experience withdrawal symptoms after a couple of hours without a cigarette.1 Many smokers continue to smoke to avoid feeling this way.1 Despite the addicting nature of tobacco products, it is possible to quit. There are many resources available in Halton on smoking and tobacco use to assist in breaking this detrimental habit.

The Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI) is used to calculate the level of dependence an individual has on tobacco. This calculation takes into account both the number of cigarettes smoked by an individual per day as well as the time between waking up and having the first cigarette.

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System. Please note that due to such few responses, it was not feasible to break the data down by demographics (ie. sex, age, municipality, income and education).

Key Findings

Trends Over Time

  • In 2014, 50% of Halton adults who smoke reported smoking 10 cigarettes or less per day and 47% reported smoking 11-20 per day. The percentage of adults who smoked 21-30, or 31 or more cigarettes per day were not reportable.
  • There were no statistically significant changes in the percentage of adults who smoke 10 cigarettes or less, 11-20, 21-30, or 31 or more per day from 2005 to 2014.

Trends Over Time

  • In 2014, based on the HSI calculation, 66% of Halton adults who smoke were found to have a low dependence on tobacco, and 33% were found to have medium dependence. The percentage of adults who were found to have a high dependence on tobacco was not reportable.
  • There were no statistically significant changes in the percentage of adults who were found to have a low, medium, or high dependence on tobacco from 2005 to 2014.

References

  1. Health Canada. 2013. Nicotine Addiction. Accessed July 2015 from http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/healthy-living-vie-saine/tobacco-tabac/addiction-dependance-eng.php (external link)