A few days ago Health Canada disseminated the results of the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use Survey of 2016-2017 (ECCTADJ). The results obtained must ensure that the policies address areas of concern.
National survey that assesses smoking and alcohol and drug use rates among Canadian students provides valuable information that will inform approaches to addressing complex social and health issues, such as problematic substance use tobacco, alcohol and drugs, including opioids and cannabis.
The survey was conducted on behalf of Health Canada by the Center for the Advancement of Population Health Propel of the University of Waterloo. The survey collected information from more than 52 000 students, which is a representative sample of over 2 million students in this age group in Canada.
The Government of Canada continues to take action to address substance use issues among Canadians. Investments are planned in 2018's budget to improve Canada's tobacco control strategy, a comprehensive, integrated, and sustained tobacco control program to reduce tobacco-related illness and death.
- That there has been a general decline among students in the use of tobacco products during last 30 days. This reduction, from 12 to 10%, represents a significant decline and an encouraging result. Canada is working to reduce the smoking rate to less than 5% by 2035.
- That 10% of students reported using an electronic cigarette during the last 30 days, an increase of 6% compared to 2014-2015.
- That cannabis use among students remained stable at 17%, which is no change compared to 2014-2015.
- Students' overall perception of the risks of smoking cannabis has decreased: only 19% of students believe that occasional smoking of cannabis is a "big risk" compared to 25% in 2014-2015.
For Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health states " We all value the health of Canada's youth. As a long-time activist, I understand the challenges of encouraging young people to consider good health habits. This survey helps us understand where we need to do more to support young people to make healthier choices. It provides a strong evidence base for our future policies and actions to address substance use issues among Canadian youth.«