Waterpipe Update: Legislation and Bylaws
Tobacco control in Canada is changing rapidly. Where cigarettes once held a virtual monopoly on smoking, the popularity of waterpipe smoking has been steadily increasing. Waterpipe (shisha) smoking is described as a youth-focused global epidemic, and Canada is not immune—its popularity has been growing since it was first included as a question on the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey in 2006. In 2015, 8.3% of Ontario students in grades 7-12 (n=10,000+) reported using a waterpipe in the past year compared with 8.6% who reported the use of tobacco cigarettes. Prevalence increases with age, with 14.4% of grade 12 students reporting past year use, just behind cigarettes at 15.3%. The numbers are higher still among Canadian young adults ages 20 – 24, with 29% reporting having ever tried a waterpipe in 2013.