2015 Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information on non-smokers who were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the past month by place of exposure.

Background

Environmental tobacco smoke, also known as second hand smoke, has been deemed a causal risk factor for a variety of health issues involving the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as a risk factor for different cancers. Several studies suggest that exposure to ETS over an 8-hour period is comparable to smoking one to three cigarettes.

The Smoke Free Ontario Act (SFOA) came into effect on May 31, 2006. The purpose of the Act is to protect the health and livelihood of all Ontarians by implementing legislation surrounding smoking. Originally, the SFOA banned smoking in public spaces and workplaces. In 2008, the act was expanded to cover rules for selling tobacco, and in January 2009 smoking was banned in all vehicles if anyone under the age of 16 is present. Effective January 2015, the act also prohibited smoking on all bar and restaurant patios, and within a 20-meter radius of all playgrounds and sports fields. This expansion also prohibited sales on college and university campuses. As part of the Smoke Free Ontario Strategy, the SFOA has greatly reduced tobacco use and lowered health risks to non-smokers in Ontario.

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

Key Findings

  • From before the SFOA in 2006 to 2015, the percentage of Halton adult non-smokers who reported being exposed to ETS in the past month decreased from 23% to 11%. This decrease was statistically significant.
  • From before the SFOA in 2006 to 2015, the percentage of Halton adult non-smokers who reported being exposed to ETS in public places in the past month decreased from 13% to 6%. This decrease was statistically significant.
  • From before the SFOA in 2006 to 2015, there were no significant changes in the percentage of Halton adult non-smokers who reported being exposed to ETS in the home, private vehicles, family/friends homes, or in the workplace in the past month.

Sex

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adult non-smokers who report having been exposed to ETS in the past month.

Age

  • In 2015, Halton adult non-smokers aged 18-24 were more likely than all other age groups to report having been exposed to ETS in the past month. These differences were statistically significant when comparing adults aged 18-24 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adult non-smokers who reported having been exposed to ETS in the past month.

Income

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adult non-smokers who reported having been exposed to ETS in the past month.

Education

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adult non-smokers who reported having been exposed to ETS in the past month.

References

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. 2010. Chronic Diseases in Canada - Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Accessed September 2016 (external link)
  2. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. 2011. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS): General Information and Health Effects. Accessed September 2016 (external link)
  3. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 2016. Smoke-Free Ontario Legislation. Accessed September 2016 (external link)