Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey: definitions

The terms used have the following definitions:

Past-year use
reported use in the 12 months preceding the interview.
Prevalence
the proportion of a group or population reporting the indicated behaviour or outcome, usually expressed as a percentage.
Smoking prevalence
the number of smokers in a specified group, divided by the total population of that group, expressed as a percentage. May also be referred to as the "smoking rate".
Current smoker
includes daily smokers and non-daily smokers (also known as occasional smokers), determined from the response to the question "At the present time do you smoke cigarettes every day, occasionally, or not at all?"
Daily smoker
refers to those who respond "everyday" to the question "At the present time do you smoke cigarettes every day, occasionally or not all?"
Non-daily smoker
often referred to as "occasional" smoker, refers to those who respond "Occasionally" to the question "At the present time do you smoke cigarettes every day, occasionally or not all?"
Former smoker
was not smoking at the time of the interview, however, answered "YES" to the question "Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your life?"
Short term quitter
a former smoker who quit smoking less than one year prior to the survey. Determined by their response to the question, "When did you stop smoking? Was it less than 1 year ago, 1 to 2 years ago, 3 to 5 years ago, or more than 5 years ago?"
Long term quitter
a former smoker who quit smoking a year or more ago and has not resumed smoking during that time frame. Determined by their response to the question, "When did you stop smoking? Was it less than 1 year ago, 1 to 2 years ago, 3 to 5 years ago, or more than 5 years ago?"
Quit rate
the ratio of the number of former smokers in a specified group divided by the number of ever smokers in that group, based on the question "When did you stop smoking? Was it less than 1 year ago, 1 to 2 years ago, 3 to 5 years ago, or more than 5 years ago?"
Never-smoker
was not smoking at the time of the interview and answered "NO" to the question "Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your life?"
Ever-smokers
current and former smokers combined.
Non-smokers
former smokers and never-smokers combined.
Stages of Change
the 5 following stages describe readiness to quit smoking. They are defined according to the conventions of Abrams, Velicer, and colleagues.

  • Precontemplation
    current smokers who answered "NO" to the question "Are you seriously considering quitting within the next six months?"
  • Contemplation
    current smokers who either were seriously considering quitting within the next six months but answered "NO" to the question "Are you seriously considering quitting within the next 30 days?" OR were seriously considering quitting within the next 30 days, but did not try to quit for at least 24 hours during the past year (i.e., answered "NONE" to the question "In the last year, how many times have you quit for at least 24 hours?").
  • Preparation
    current smokers who were seriously considering quitting within the next 30 days and had quit smoking at least once, for at least 24 hours, during the past year.
  • Action
    former smokers (i.e., did not currently smoke) who had quit smoking within the past six months (inclusive). former smokers who, at the time of the interview, had quit smoking at least six months ago.
Acute effects
possible short-term effects of alcohol use include injuries and overdoses.
Age of initiation
the age at which a person first used alcohol or a drug.
Harm
drug related harms include harms in any of the following 8 areas: physical health; friendships and social life; financial position; home life or marriage; work, studies or employment opportunities; legal problems; difficulty learning; and housing problems.
Chronic effects
possible long-term effects of alcohol use include liver disease and certain cancers. Low-risk drinking guideline 1 (chronic) people who drink within this guideline must drink "no more than 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days and 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days. Plan non-drinking days every week to avoid developing a habit."
Low-risk drinking guideline 2 (acute)
those who drink within this guideline do so by "drinking no more than 3 drinks (for women) or 4 drinks (for men) on any single occasion. Plan to drink in a safe environment. Stay within the weekly limits outlined"Footnote1 in Guideline

Terminology – Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey

Current smoker
- has smoked at least 100 cigarettes in his/her lifetime, and includes the following:

  1. Current daily - a current smoker who has smoked at least one cigarette per day for each of the 30 days preceding the survey.
  2. Current occasional - a current smoker who has smoked at least one cigarette during the past 30 days, but has not smoked every day
Former smoker
- smoked at least 100 cigarettes in his/her lifetime and has not smoked at all during the past 30 days.
Experimental smoker
- has smoked at least one whole cigarette, has not smoked 100 or more cigarettes in his/her lifetime and has smoked in the last 30 days.
Former experimental smoker
- has smoked at least one whole cigarette, has not smoked 100 or more cigarettes in his/her lifetime and has not smoked at all in the past 30 days.
Puffer
- someone who has just tried a few puffs of a cigarette, but has never smoked a whole cigarette.
Ever tried a cigarette
- someone who has ever tried a cigarette, even a few puffs.
Never tried a cigarette
- someone who has never tried a cigarette, not even a few puffs.
Prevalence of smoking
- the proportion of cigarette smokers in the target population.
Amount smoked
- the average number of cigarettes smoked per day by daily smokers.
Social sources of cigarettes
- family/friend/someone gives them / take from family member / buy from friend or someone else / ask someone to buy them.
95% confidence interval
- this provides a range of values in which the estimated prevalence will fall 95% of the time (i.e., if the survey was repeated 20 times, the results would fall within this range 19 of those times, or 19 times out of 20).

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