New vaping restrictions aim to lower youth…


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107 points

by Spencer Kemp

Native Journalism Initiative Reporter

New vaping rules launched by the Authorities of Saskatchewan are focusing on youth vaping charges in hopes to decrease the variety of youth utilizing vapour merchandise.

The primary regulation was an modification made to the Tobacco and Vapour Merchandise Management Act that was enforce February 2020.

The modification will prohibit the sale of flavoured vapour merchandise to adult-only vape outlets and restrict advertising and availability to youth efficient on September 1, 2021. The restriction won’t apply to mint and menthol flavours.

The second restriction is a brand new 20 per cent Vapour Merchandise Tax (VPT) that may come into impact on September 1, 2021. The VPT will substitute the present PST of six per cent when it comes into impact.

Saskatchewan presently carries the best youth smoking charges and highest youth vaping charges, making these new restrictions nicely acquired by many within the province.

A research carried out in 2019 confirmed 30 per cent of Saskatchewan youth reported vaping within the final 30 days. Amongst Saskatchewan college students in Grades 7-9, 18 per cent reported past-30-day use, and 40 per cent of youth in grades 10-12 reported past-30-day use.

SECPSD sees new restrictions as a step in the proper course

The sudden spike in vaping reputation over the previous years has been one thing that colleges throughout Saskatchewan have needed to take care of and undertake guidelines for.

Director of Training with the South East Cornerstone Public College Division (SECPSD) Lynn Little says SECPSD has been in a position to adapt to those new merchandise and forestall youth from utilizing them in colleges.

“We certainly keep a wary eye on vaping, there’s no doubt about that, just like we do with tobacco products too. I would suggest that this has been a greater issue in the past than we are currently experiencing in schools. It doesn’t seem to be as prevalent today as even a year ago. We don’t know if that’s because it’s not new and cool anymore, or because the risks associated are becoming better known and the students are becoming more educated, or the fact that maybe with COVID restrictions it’s just been more difficult to use than it has been in the past,” Little defined.

“In any event, we have had fewer exposures this year than we have had in the past.”

Little explains that SECPSD follows tips put in place by the Authorities of Saskatchewan and treats vapour merchandise the identical manner they deal with tobacco on college grounds.

“We have the same policy for vapour products as we do with tobacco use. It’s not permitted in the building nor on the school ground. The staff has been working to establish this understanding with our youth and with the public.

“Because tobacco was an issue well before vaping, we can just make reference to the same policy, so we treat them like the same thing.”

Little says that the brand new restrictions are a step in the proper course by the Authorities of Saskatchewan, noting that she has observed a lower within the variety of college students utilizing vapour merchandise in colleges.

“With all of our efforts in combination, we would suggest that we are seeing a reduction in kids vaping in school. But to pinpoint exactly what has had the greatest impact is difficult, so we stay the course with all the regulations. These additional restrictions will be advantageous, they will be one more step along the way to eliminating the usage of vape products.

“I think these are steps in the right direction. Any steps that might reduce the youth and the attraction to these risk-related health practices are welcome. A reduction plan with many different prongs is advantageous. What makes a difference for one student or a group of students might not impact another. Maybe it is the cost for some, and maybe for others, it’s the lack of flavour that turns them away.

“I think coming from a lot of different angles is wise.”

Little says that she agrees with the view of flavoured vapour merchandise being focused in the direction of youth.

“We do associate flavours and names, like cotton candy, to being driven towards youth as are things like bubble gum. Advertising is meant to entice people and flavours like those, like ice cream or bubble gum, would be chosen to target youth and give the impression that they are harmless.

“I’m glad there is a recognition of this and I am glad there are now regulations in place to limit it and protect our youth.”

Little hopes to proceed seeing a downward pattern of vaping in colleges. She says that as extra info is made accessible, extra colleges are in a position to educate youth on the impacts of vapour merchandise.

“This does provide a little bit more awareness and understanding as to why we are doing this and some backing for this. Another thing we are doing is including awareness and education in our studies, developing an understanding of the risks for youth. I’m not sure if when vaping first came out if it was known or understood what the risks were. As things become more scientifically known we can incorporate that into our studies and ensure there is education around that, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Ministry of Finance hope to discourage non-smokers from utilizing vapour merchandise

With the introduction of a 20 per cent tax on all vapour liquids, merchandise, and gadgets taking impact later within the 12 months, the Ministry of Finance is hoping to discourage youth from buying vapour merchandise.

Brian Miller, Supervisor of Public Relations with the Ministry of Finance says the intent of the tax is to additionally restrict the variety of non-smokers that select to make use of vapour merchandise.

“Right now the provincial sales tax applies to vapour products and effective September 1 there’s going to be a new 20 per cent vapour products tax that will apply on the sale of all vapour liquids, products, and devices,” stated Miller

“The purpose of the tax, the VPT, is aimed at preventing youth and non-smokers from getting vapour products and encouraging current smokers to move to slightly less harmful alternatives.”

Miller defined that the Ministry of Finance acknowledges that vapour merchandise are utilized by people which can be attempting to ease off of tobacco.

“It has a general overall goal of recognizing that with vapour products, it would be a good thing to discourage youth and non-smokers from using those products. But there is a recognition that vaping might be slightly less harmful than tobacco. We do acknowledge that vapour products are bought by some to be a smoking cessation method by some and that most people view them as slightly less harmful than traditional tobacco.”

He notes that the 20 per cent taxation, which will likely be used as normal income, was chosen to match different provinces in Canada.

“Twenty per cent taxation was chosen because it largely brings us in line with a number of other Canadian jurisdictions. Other jurisdictions that have a 20 per cent tax on vapour products in Canada include BC, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.”

With the rise in taxes to vapour merchandise, Miller says the Authorities of Saskatchewan is anticipating making over triple what was made with the PST.

“It’s difficult to measure the vapour products market. There are many types of retailers that sell vapour products in Saskatchewan, but right now we estimate that the current PST of 6 per cent which is currently collected on these products comes to around $1,000,000 annually in revenue. When we switch over to the VPT on September 1, the government expects to collect about $3.3 million annually in revenue from the VPT,” Miller defined.

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Whereas there is no such thing as a licensing payment, vapour product distributors will likely be required to use for a VPT distributors licence in August earlier than the VPT comes into impact.

“All vendors of vapour products will be required to become licenses by August of this year and they’ll be asked to apply for a VPT vendors license and that will allow them to then report and submit any VPT that they collect.

“Businesses that need to apply for a VPT vendors license will be able to do so starting August 1. They have the month of August to get their application submitted and reviewed. They will also need to file VPT returns for the reporting period that begins on September 1, which is the date when the tax kicks in.”

Whereas this tax might influence the gross sales made by vapour shops, Miller explains that it was extra vital to the Ministry of Finance to decrease the variety of youth utilizing vapour merchandise.

“The overriding consideration was to bring Saskatchewan in line with the tax rate being charged by other Canadian provinces. The main motivation for this was preventing youth and non-smokers from getting these vapour products and at the same time keeping the tax structure as such so that traditional cigarette smokers would still have the option to switch to what is considered a slightly less harmful alternative.”

Lung Affiliation of Saskatchewan urges authorities to do extra

When saying the amendments and added restrictions, Well being Minister Paul Merriman made observe of the Lung Affiliation of Saskatchewan and their efforts in elevating consciousness and pushing for these adjustments.

The Lung Affiliation has advocated for restrictions on vapour merchandise since 2013 and has slowly however absolutely made progress in added restrictions.

Jennifer Could, Vice President of Well being Promotion and Authorities Relations with the Lung Affiliation of Saskatchewan, says that over the previous years, the variety of youth utilizing vapour merchandise has gone up, which she says is a cause to extend restrictions.

She says that the federal government has made the proper efforts, however the Lung Affiliation is looking for extra.

“Vaping has skyrocketed amongst youth and certainly in the last five years here in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan has one of the highest vape and smoking rates for young adults. We were certainly urging the government to support stronger regulations by banning all vape flavours with the exception of tobacco for this exact reason. As we know, flavours absolutely target youth and young adults. Other Canadian provinces have done this like Nova Scotia and PEI, and they’ve done this with success,” Could defined.

“Our message to the government is that the best way to protect our kids from flavoured products is to remove them from the market. This was what we’d consider a partial ban, but youth and young adults still have access to menthol flavours at convenience stores, at grocery stores. And the other flavours have been moved to vape specialty shops.”

She notes that limiting advertising and availability to youth has been a giant step in serving to stop youth from utilizing vapour merchandise, noting {that a} majority of vape customers are youth and younger adults.

“We agree 100 per cent that vape products target youth. There’s no question. Eighty-four per cent of vape users are under the age of 25. A lot of people think this is an adult issue, but that’s not the case. Most vape users are under the age of 25 which absolutely makes this a youth and young-adult issue. That is why the Lung Association is on top of this.

“The industry is trying to sell us on the idea that this is a product for adults to quit smoking. That’s how it entered the market with such gusto. This is not an adult harm reduction strategy like the vape industry is trying to sell us, this is a youth issue.”

Whereas long-term results of vaping are nonetheless being researched, Could says that short-term analysis has proven unfavourable results from vaping.

“We’re still learning more about vaping and its long-term health effects and how that will impact the body and that’s all being researched. Short-term research is clear, and this is why Health Canada has made a statement that they do not recommend youth to vape. We do see effects such as mouth and throat irritation, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Any time a product like that makes you cough, we need to understand that the lungs are meant for clean air, they’re not meant for chemicals or oils or any of those foreign substances. Any time you start putting those substances into your lungs, we’re going to see damage.”

Could notes that advocating for the restriction of flavoured vapour merchandise got here from each the Lung Affiliation of Saskatchewan in addition to Youth4Change, a bunch of scholars advocating for wholesome decisions.

Could defined that Youth4Change performed a big position within the passing of Invoice 182 which noticed vapour merchandise handled like tobacco merchandise when it comes to use and buy.

She says that Youth4Change and the Lung Affiliation labored collectively to push for the restriction of flavoured vapour merchandise, and whereas the Authorities of Saskatchewan launched some restrictions, she believes extra restrictions are essential.

“There were two outstanding issues that the Lung Association and Youth4Change were asking for. One was age. To buy cannabis or alcohol in Saskatchewan you have to be 19 but to buy tobacco or vaping you only have to be 18. We have been wondering why the discrepancy. We would like the age to be higher but of course, we have to be realistic and figured we’d meet in the middle at 19,” Could defined.

“Most kids are out of school by the age of 19. There are a lot of kids who are 18 that are in high school, so raising the age helps that system and keep vapour products out of schools.

“The second issue is we want a full ban on flavours. We know who they target and there’s no question about it. There’s no need for them to be here. There are other provinces and many states that have already banned them and we can do the same here.”


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