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How Does Canada’s Smoking Market Compare To America?
8 January 2024
Whether you personally love it or hate it, smoking – whether through cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or ‘herb’ products such as cannabis – is one of the most popular ‘vices’ in the world today. Some people choose to smoke the ‘old fashioned way’ by buying cigarettes or rolling tobacco. Others choose to go down the route of using something like a modern disposable vape. For others, it means using something more potent, such as a Flying Monkey vaporizer.
Canadian smoking trends show that around one-quarter – 24%, to be precise – of Canadians smoke cigarettes. To many, this can seem extraordinarily high: it is common for Canada to be accused of having the highest smoking rates of any English-speaking nation in the world.
However, we do not have to look too far to see how that is not true: according to Gallup, some 26% of American adults still smoke cigarettes. Compared to England, though, America and Canada comfortably come out second best, with England ‘boasting’ a rate of e-cigarette usage that could be as much as 50% higher.
While America and Canada might compare favorably to England, it would be fair to say that when compared against one another, both North American powerhouses have a lot of e-cig users. For example, research has found that Canada is experiencing a ‘compound annual growth rate’ (CARG) of around 9.4% from 2019 until 2025. America, by contrast, is expected to see a growth of around 30.6% from 2023 until 2030. So, it looks like the Canadian sector might not be as set for rapid growth as compared to the American sector.
One reason for this that has been given is that Canada looks set to bring in more stringent regulatory decisions regarding e-cig usage. It has been remarked that many insiders expect Canada to bring in regulatory solutions to help reduce the attractiveness of e-cig usage in younger people. Indeed, a ban is expected to come in the next years to remove any non-tobacco or non-menthol flavors from the market entirely.
What About Cannabis?
Given the legality of cannabis in some or all of both countries, too, it should come as no surprise that these markets are booming.
However, despite the ‘cannabis industry’ being one of the big-name changes to Canadian culture in recent years, it looks like Canada might have reached a peak when it comes to cannabis sales. According to a BBC report, the cannabis market in Canada is beginning to reach a downturn in popularity and productivity. Some believe that this comes from an overextension of supply – too many companies looking to get involved in a container market – while others believe over-regulation has led to a fallback in the number of people who wish to participate.
Also, given that Canada remains one of the few nations in the world to allow both manufacturing and consumption of cannabis at a recreational level, it has very few places that it can export to. Compared with the e-cigarette and vaping industries, which are far more available worldwide but also have more competition, Canada might be running into a problem with its once-booming cannabis industry.
So, it looks like the ‘big three’ smoking industries – cigarettes, e-cigs, and cannabis – are still in healthy enough condition in Canada. Compared to America, though, it looks like growth has stalled somewhat for the two newcomers to the industry. Regulatory change, though, could help to either throttle or expand these industries. Like most things in the Canadian health sector, it simply comes down to the government’s priorities shortly.
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