As Saskatchewan MLAs assembled this week for the fall sitting, Premier Scott Moe delivered on promises to propose a package of new legislation, including regulations on the province’s vapor industry.
Moe’s legislative proposals were delivered via a Wednesday throne speech by Lt. Governor Russell Mirasty. Reacting to the speech for Saskatoon Morning, Canadian Cancer Society health policy analyst Donna Pasiechnik said:
“I think there is some really important measures right off the top that other provincial governments have already adopted, and that is getting rid of the displays and promotion in retail establishments.”
Saskatchewan was one of the last of the provinces to adopt vaping regulation; now only Alberta remains regulation free. The Canadian Cancer Society wants more regulation, including measures such as raising the minimum purchase age to 21 nation wide, restricting flavors, restricting access to vaping products, and banning the use of vapor products everywhere smoking is prohibited.
“We’ve learned a lot of lessons from tobacco and those same lessons can be applied here, particularly since Big Tobacco is now in the electronic cigarette game.”
According to CBC, Pasiechnik also conveyed anecdotes of high school students hiding their vapes behind school toilets in order to share their vapes communally.
“Despite e-cigarettes being intended for adult smokers to help them quit smoking, we’ve seen skyrocketing rates among youth.”
Apparently unsatisfied with age verification enforcement, Pasiechnik agitates for American-style product prohibition in the form of flavor bans:
“There are hundreds and hundreds of flavours appealing to kids, you know candy floss, you name it.”
Premier Scott Moe, however, is content to regulate vapor products in a similar fashion to tobacco and alcohol. Pasiechnik argues that this is not enough:
“A number of measures that we expect to see implemented here in Saskatchewan have already been in other provinces and that doesn’t seem to be enough.”
Whether Moe’s more restrained approach or the more extreme response pushed for by NGOs and their spokespersons will win out, only time will tell.