Saskatchewan set to raise minimum age to 19 for smoking and vaping

Age increase part of government’s “build and protect” promise in Throne Speech

The government of Saskatchewan is looking to raise the age when someone can buy tobacco and vaping products to 19 years old from the current age of 18.

Saskatchewan Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty delivered the government's speech, which outlines the legislative agenda as the fall session begins.

"Together with Saskatchewan people, we will continue to build a strong province, a strong economy, strong communities and strong families," Premier Scott Moe says.

News reports say the province's plan to increase the age for smoking and vaping is to align them with current rules for alcohol and cannabis. When speaking with the media, Premier Moe adds that the decision to raise the age came not just from recommendations the cancer society but from youths who spoke with the health minister and other provincial MLAs.

In August, the Canadian Vaping Society (CVA) released a statement supporting the Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health proposed amendments to The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act that included increasing the minimum age to purchase from 18 years to 19, clarifications to the terms promote and advertise, and the removal of sampling at age restricted vapour product retailers. The Society also recommended that regulation be strengthened as to where flavoured products could be sold and that the province should limit flavoured product sales to age-restricted specialty stores.

Specialty stores should be defined as:

85% or more of the store’s sales are vape products.

The store must have its own entrance to access vapour products (i.e., a room cannot be added to an existing store).

The store must bar entry to anyone under 19 years old.

Implement a licensing system and adopt more punitive penalties for regulatory violations.

"The CVA commends Saskatchewan for aligning its marketing and promotional regulations with those of the federal government. With the world's most robust regulations protecting our youth, it's important for provinces to synchronize their legislative actions with the national standards, bolstering enforcement efforts and resources," says Darryl Tempest, government relations counsel to the CVA Board in regards to the proposed changes by the province.

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