Saskatchewan introduced new vapour regulations on Monday aimed at lowering vaping rates among young people in the province.
Changes to The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act restrict the sale of flavoured vapour products to adult-only vape shops and limit marketing and availability to youth.
“Vapour flavoured products like strawberry and ice cream give young people the false impression that vaping is harmless when it is every bit as habit-forming as smoking,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said in a press release Monday.
“Building upon the legislation this government introduced to regulate vape products as we do tobacco, we want to provide our youth with every opportunity to choose to be tobacco and vape-free.”
The province said the new regulations will not apply to tobacco and mint/menthol flavours.
“That’s what we’ve been asking for for years, to have flavoured vapour products available in vape shops, specialty adult access-only vape shops,” said Mike Smider, Queen City Vape owner.
However, Action on Smoking and Health sees these new regulations as a failure on part of the province.
“The new Saskatchewan regulations allow vape shops to continue selling all flavoured products despite their deplorable track record,” said Les Hagen, ASH’s executive director.
“Health Canada has seized hundreds of illegal vaping products in dozens of Saskatchewan vape shops and the provincial government is now rewarding them with the exclusive right to sell flavoured vaping products.
“The best way to protect kids from flavoured products is to remove them from the market like a growing number of states and provinces are doing.”
Formerly the Tobacco Control Amendment Act, 2019, the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act received royal assent in December 2019. It came into effect on February 2020 and aligned the regulation of vape and tobacco products:
- Restricting the sale of vapour/e-cigarette devices and products to individuals 18 years of age and older
- Prohibiting the display of vapour/e-cigarette products in a retail business where young persons have access
- Restricting the use of vapour/e-cigarette products in and around public buildings, including schools and school grounds, in the same manner as our provincial tobacco legislation
- Prohibiting the sale of vapour/e-cigarette products from specified facilities such as amusement parks, arcades, and theatres where youth frequent
- Restricting advertising of vapour/e-cigarette products in the same manner as tobacco products by prohibiting advertising signs and promotional signs in areas where young persons can enter
- Providing the ability to restrict the sale of flavoured tobacco and vapour products by regulation; and
- Expanding the authority of tobacco enforcement officers to include enforcement of vapour/e-cigarette product restrictions.
The changes come into effect on Sept. 1. Further information can be found on the Saskatchewan government’s website.
Jonathan Guignard – Global News – 2021-04-19.