The Saskatchewan Medical Association has praised recent increases in the province’s regulation of vapor products, but it’s now calling for more.
After Health Minister Jim Reiter announces new vaping regulations for the province last week, the SMA praised the move. Moose Jaw physician Dr. Mark Brown said:
“We applaud the government. This issue requires leadership on their part and they have shown it.”
However, the Association is now calling for more, and tighter, regulation to include measures mandating a new 21-years-and-above minimum purchase and possession age and even the suggestion of a flavor ban.
“The worry we have now is the massive increase in vaping among our teens in the province. We have three times higher rates than the rest of the country.”
This assertion is based on data which pegs Saskatchewan’s underage vaping rate at 22 percent, compared to the national average of 8 percent, according to 620 CKRM radio.
Brown goes on to attempt to justify a flavor ban by employing the debunked “gateway” argument:
“It’s a gateway. They say there’s nothing to worry about because it’s not nicotine, it’s just flavoured oils. But that introduces them to the devices, and eventually they take the steps to vaping or smoking.”
It seems, to say the least, improbable that underage vapers would be attracted to a product which tastes good, thence to move from there to a product which tastes bad. But this is the argument Dr. Brown offers. With any luck, and for the sake of adult vapers in Saskatchewan, it will not succeed in removing flavored vapor products from the shelves.