Ontario Tobacco Survey

Overview and Study Objectives

The Ontario Tobacco Survey (OTS) is a population-based longitudinal survey of smokers and a cross-sectional survey of nonsmokers in Ontario.

The main survey objectives were to:

  • Evaluate and inform the impact of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy
  • Monitor trends in tobacco-related knowledge and exposures for both smokers and nonsmokers
  • Provide baseline and longitudinal data to better understand the processes of, and influences on, smoking cessation and relapse

OTS Publications and Presentations

Ontario Tobacco Survey has been used to inform tobacco control research and evaluation with peer-reviewed publications, presentations at academic conferences, reports and newsletters. For a complete list of all OTS-related publications and presentations, click here.

OTS Documentation

The OTS Technical Reports detail the methodology, data, and guidelines for analyses.

Click here for full OTS technical documentation, appendices and questionnaires.

Applying to Use the OTS Data for Research and Evaluation

Researchers can apply to use the data from the Ontario Tobacco Survey to conduct secondary analyses for research and evaluation; see the OTS Information and Guidelines for data applicants.

Applicants should familiarize themselves with the OTS design and questionnaires. Please refer to the OTS Technical Reports above for further details and documentation.

Data Collection

Data were collected by the Survey Research Centre (SRC) at the University of Waterloo between 2005 and 2011. The SRC recruited more than 7,500 smokers and nonsmokers in Ontario to take part in a 15- to 25-minute survey: respondents were asked questions about their smoking behaviours, their thoughts and experiences relevant to tobacco use and secondhand smoke.

Recent smokers were invited to participate in the longitudinal study in which they were re-interviewed approximately every six months for three years.