In Canada, 8-In-10 Drink, Half Gamble, One Fifth Smoke Pot

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In Canada, 8-In-10 Drink, Half Gamble, One Fifth Smoke Pot

Equal number drink, smoke pot daily across Canada

In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 2271 Canadians adults, 8-in-10 have drunk alcohol in the past year (81%), more than half have engaged in gaming or gambling (58%) and one fifth have smoked pot or used cannabis (20%).

Four fifths drink, on average, twice a week

One fifth of Canadians do not drink (19%) and, among those who do (81%), frequency of drinking is, on average, about twice a week (1.9 times) including about one twentieth who drink daily (6%). Drinking is most common among younger Canadians (under 44 - 83%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 91%), in Quebec (86%), among Green and Bloc Quebecois voters (87%), Francophones (88%), college graduates (86%) and among those who have used cannabis (90%) or have gambled (87%) in the past year.

On average, Canadians who imbibe, do so twice a week (1.9 times), more so among the oldest (2,3), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 2.1), in Quebec (2.1), among Bloc voters (2.2) and among those who have used cannabis (2.4).

Wine is the drink of choice

In total, more than 4-in-10 of those who drink consume wine most often (43%), followed by beer (32%), then mixed drinks (12%). Few drink straight liquor (6%), shots (2%) or coolers (3%) most often. Among the youngest, beer dominates (41%) wine (31%), while mixed drinks are most popular with those under 45 (14%). Males are far more likely to drink beer (48%) than wine (28%), while the opposite applies to females (17% and 58%, respectively). The wealthiest are the most likely to drink beer (36%). Wine dominates in Quebec (54%) while beer is especially common in Alberta (36%), as are mixed drinks (16%). Conservative voters are equally likely to drink beer (37%) or wine (38%), while Liberals tend more to wine (47%) rather than beer (30%). New Democrats split their favour (beer - 35%, wine - 38%). Francophones are much more likely to drink wine most often (54%) than beer (30%), and much less likely than Anglophones to drink mixed drinks (6% to 13%). Wine consumption increases with education. Interestingly, those who use cannabis are much more likely to drink beer (44%) than those who don’t (29%), and much less likely to drink wine (24% to 48%).

More than half gamble, on average once a week

Four-in-ten Canadians do not gamble (42%), and among those who do (58%), average frequency is about once a week (1.0). Gaming or gambling is most common among the oldest (65+ - 63%), males (61%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 65%), in Quebec (63%), Bloc voters (71%) and among those with some postsecondary schooling (66%).

On average, those who gamble do so once a week (1.0), while frequency of play is higher among the least wealthy (1.3), among Green voters (1.4), the least educated (1.3) and among those who smoke pot (1.4).

Lottery tickets by far the most common form of gambling

Two thirds of Canadians who gamble say they do so with lottery tickets or scratch and win tickets (62%), and this is most common among the mid aged (45 to 54 - 68%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 68%), in Quebec (68%), among Bloc voters (77%), Francophones (68%), mothers of children (68%) and the best educated (66%). Charity lottery tickets follow in a distant second place (10%), but these are especially popular in Atlantic Canada (15%) and BC (15%) and among the best educated (15%). Fewer than a tenth game at slot machines (7%), with friends (5%), at bingo (3%) or at VLTs (2%) or on sport select type lottery tickets (2%).

One fifth use cannabis, on average 3 times a week

Four fifths of Canadians have not used marijuana or cannabis in the past year (80%) and among those who have (20%), average frequency of use is about 3 times a week (2.8), including one twentieth or so who consume daily (6%). There are three important findings here. First, about as many Canadians now smoke pot as those who smoke tobacco. Second, pot smokers ply their particular vice more frequently than either drinkers and gamblers. Third, an equal number of Canadians are now smoking pot daily as are drinking alcohol daily.

Consuming cannabis is most common among the youngest (34%), males (25%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 26%), in Atlantic Canada (25%) and in BC (26%) and least common in the prairies and Quebec (15% each). Green voters are especially likely to toke (36%). Some groups not necessarily identified with marijuana use are also represented, including the oldest (65+ - 8%), federal Conservatives (14%) and mothers of children under 18 (16%).

On average, those who consume cannabis do so three times a week (2.8) and frequency of usage is highest among the least wealthy (often a proxy for youth - 3.7), in Quebec (3.2) and Alberta (3.9), among Green voters (3.7%), Francophones (3.3) and among those who don’t drink (4.4).

Smoking dried marijuana most common form of use

More than half consume cannabis by smoking marijuana (57%) most often, followed distantly by those who smoke or vapourize hashish (10%). Just fewer vapourize their bud (9%), smoke oil (8%) or consume edibles (7%). Hash use is most common in Quebec especially (21%) and among the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 15%), New Democrats (23%) and Francophones (22%). The oldest users (65+) are most likely to use “something else” (38%), followed by smoking marijuana (34%). Edibles are especially common among this group (14%).

“These findings confirm some stereotypes, and confound others; for instance, we know we’re a hard-drinking country, but who knew wine had supplanted beer as the beverage of choice? And, while 4 times as many drink as smoke marijuana, the same number are doing each on a daily basis. Who knew bingo was a New Democrat game? And there is a clear regional flavour to Canada’s vices. Quebeckers are more likely to be drinkers, less likely to be pot smokers" said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.