Pilot Survey on Tobacco Use

Detailed information for 2011




One Time

Record number:


This pilot survey asks both smokers and non-smokers about their past and present smoking habits, their attitudes towards smoking, and other related issues.

Data release - The results of this pilot survey are only to be used internally for evaluation purposes and no data, files or results will be released.


As part of the Household Survey Common Frame Service project, the possibility of using cell phone numbers as a means of first contact needs to be assessed. In order to obtain a better understanding of the problems associated with interviews conducted over cell phones, and more specifically cold calls, a slightly modified version of the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS, record number 4440) was considered to be the best option for such a test.

This pilot survey asks both smokers and non-smokers about their past and present smoking habits, their attitudes towards smoking, and other related issues (similar to the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey - CTUMS). The sample for the pilot is taken from a list of cellular phone subscribers which will enable us to identify issues associated with the collection of information by means of cellular phones.


  • Health
  • Lifestyle and social conditions
  • Statistical methods

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Cell phone subscribers (as of March 31, 2011) aged 15 years or over residing in Ontario and Québec. Only residential numbers with usable address information are included in the sample.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The frame used for the pilot is based on a cell phone subscribers list as of March 31 2011. This file provides information that will be used in the design of the pilot (geography, type of plan, cell-only status, age, number of phones at address, etc.). These auxiliary variables will be used to stratify the frame and ensure that some sub-population of interest is covered in the test. A random sample will then be selected in each strata resulting in a sample size of 2,000 cell phone numbers in Ontario and Québec.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2011-08-29 to 2011-09-19

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data are collected using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). A front-end module contains a set of standard response codes for dealing with all possible call outcomes, as well as the associated scripts to be read by the interviewers. A standard approach set up for introducing the agency, the name and purpose of the survey, how the survey results will be used, and the duration of the interview was used.

The CATI application ensured that only valid question responses were entered and that all the correct flows were followed. Edits were built into the application to check the consistency of responses, identify and correct outliers, and to control who gets asked specific questions. This meant that the data are already quite "clean" at the end of the collection process.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

No public use microdata file will be produced by Statistics Canada and data will not be made available through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI).

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