Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut April 03, 2018 - 10:30 am

Inuit men, women likely to smoke for different reasons: StatCan

Education, adequate housing offer protection from getting hooked on tobacco

A new Statistics Canada points to some of the risk factors for Inuit men and Inuit women who smoke, to hopefully come up with more targeted tobacco cessation and prevention programs. (FILE PHOTO)
A new Statistics Canada points to some of the risk factors for Inuit men and Inuit women who smoke, to hopefully come up with more targeted tobacco cessation and prevention programs. (FILE PHOTO)

A new Statistics Canada study on Inuit Nunangat has found that there are gender-specific differences between Inuit men and Inuit women in the way that they smoke tobacco.

If you are an Inuk man and a high-school graduate, you’re less likely to be a smoker, and you have “significantly lower odds of smoking” if you live in a higher-income household.

If you’re an Inuk woman, the same holds true, but if you also live in a home where everyone gets enough to eat, you’re also less likely to be a smoker.

These are among the results of the StatCan study released last week.

For their study, researchers used information gathering during the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, which included responses from 2,614 Inuit—1,263 men and 1,351 women.

About seven per cent resided in Nunatsiavut, 22 per cent in Nunavik, 62 per cent in Nunavut, and nine per cent in the Inuvialuit Region.

The researchers found that for all those included in the study, living in crowded conditions or in a home where a regular smoker was present were risk factors for smoking among Inuit of both sexes.

A risk factor specific to Inuit women smoking was having personally attended a residential school.

Findings from this study will hopefully identify some of the protective and risk factors for smoking among this population and can help inform smoking prevention and cessation programs, the researchers said.

The study looked at smoking in the context of labour force status, participation in traditional activities, education, household income, crowding, presence of a regular smoker in the home, strength of family ties, food security, diagnosed mood and anxiety conditions, heavy drinking and residential school experiences.

In 2012, about six in 10, or 63 per cent, of Inuit aged 15 or older in Inuit Nunangat reported smoking cigarettes daily, compared with 16 per cent of the overall Canadian population.

For adults, that figure was even higher, with about seven in 10 smoking: 75 per cent of adult Inuit men and 74 per cent of adult Inuit women reported that they smoked cigarettes either daily or occasionally.

That’s although smoking remains a big and expensive habit across the North, in 2015 costing the average Nunavut smoker more than $6,000 a year.

The results of the high smoking rate in Nunavut mean that lung cancer, in most cases caused by tobacco use, is three times the national average.

The Government of Nunavut has asked Nunavut residents to do their part in preventing tobacco addiction by becoming aware of what programs are available to help themselves and their family members reduce their reliance on tobacco products.

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(7) Comments:

#1. Posted by Sam on April 03, 2018

In some towns and cities, it’s against the law to smoke in a vehicle when children are present. Here you see moms/dads with your their kids on their backs, smoking and the poor child hasn’t a chance to escape the second hand smoke. We have to start very early in school , teaching the youth to stay away from second hand smoke, they will go home and hopefully have the parents look at that precious child in the eyes and listen to them.

#2. Posted by Shawdiki on April 03, 2018


100% agree, Make it law.

#3. Posted by DAVID SUZUKI on April 03, 2018

I m more concerned with gobal warming them second smoke.

#4. Posted by Smokey Bear on April 03, 2018

There is a very strong between smoking and hungry/dieting. 
Many woman take up smoking to loose weight.  Many people also smoke to NOT feel hungry.  It will become very clear to you once you begin to think in those terms. 

Nicotine and other things in cigarettes also suppress frautrations and other bad feelings.  Ask any gangster.

#5. Posted by Narrative builder on April 03, 2018

“If you’re an Inuk woman [and] you… live in a home where everyone gets enough to eat, you’re… less likely to be a smoker.”

Or, alternately,

“If you’re an Inuk woman [and] you don’t smoke you are less likely to live in a home where not everyone gets enough to eat”.

Statistics are useful and interesting, but narrative is everything….

#6. Posted by Puff on April 04, 2018

Nunatsiaq News, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to write a story on why we should not smoke or quit if we do?

#7. Posted by What??? on April 06, 2018

What are we doing to ourselves?

“Lung Cancer is 3 times the national average among Inuit?” 

Are we crazy or what?

This Lung Cancer epidemic will still away our parents, our grandparents, even young people can get it.

People coming north are just shocked at the smoking that goes on here.

I smoked.  Now I view people standing around smoking as slow suicide.

Don’t get me wrong I am not judging; it is just that my heart breaks every time I see people put that cigarette to their mouths, because I know what is going to happen to them.

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