Montreal smoking rates through the roof
The Montreal Public Health Agency is sounding the alarm, too many Montrealers smoke.
“If we compare to Toronto for example, there is 16 percent,” says Dr. Richard Massé, director of the Public Health Agency. “And 15 percent in Vancouver – there is still a huge gap between the number of smokers in Montreal and those other large cities.”
Massé correlates low income and little education to an increased likelihood of smoking.
Here is a breakdown of the number of smokers across the island based on the study (organized by the agency’s administrative region):
- Jeanne-Mance: 36.0% (44,100)
- Coeur-de-l’Ile: 29.4% (27,100)
- Lucille-Teasdale: 28.6% (42,700)
- Dorval-Lachine-LaSalle: 27.6% (31,100)
- Saint-Leonard and Saint-Michel: 25.8% (26,400)
- Sud-Ouest-Verdun: 25.0% (30,100)
- Pointe-de-l’Ile: 24.8% (39,700)
- De la Montagne: 21.8% (38,700)
- Ahuntsic and Montreal-North: 21.4% (28,500)
- Cavendish: 19.7% (19,600)
- West Island: 16.7% (28,100)
- Bordeaux-Cartiervile-St-Laurent: 15.6% (17,400)
Number of young teenagers picking up the nasty habit is also higher than the national average.
Around 33 percent of teenagers and young adults between 18 and 34 years-old smoke, according to the survey.
More specifically, the report says in 2011, 8 percent of high school students in Montreal smoke.
Massé attributes this to billions spent on marketing new cigarillos and cigars.
Cigarillos don’t smell like cigarettes, which may make them more attractive. However, they contact just as much nicotine as a regular cigarette.
Quebec is the only province in the country where it is permitted by law to smoke in a vehicle with children.
The report says close to seven percent of pregnant women do smoke, and it’s more likely for pregnant women to smoke if they live amount low-income earners.
The agency plans to target areas that are more prone to teenagers picking up the bad habit, and also areas where adults have been hooked for years.
The Montreal Health Agency reports that 70 percent of smokers want to quit.