Youth4Change Asks Government To Project Kids From Vaping Products


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Youth4Change Asks Government To Project Kids From Vaping Products

Youth4Change, an organization started in 2018 by Lung Saskatchewan and Dr. Erika Penz, rallied in front of the Legislative Building to ask the government to safeguard kids in Saskatchewan from vaping and commercial tobacco products. The group’s aim is to empower young people to advocate for their protection from vaping products. One of the group’s members, Delia, who is in Grade 7 in Saskatoon, provided some recommendations to the government. She said that children are being used as lab rats in a real-life human experiment, and that the youth is the target of tobacco and vape products. Two primary recommendations were made: 1) banning the sale of flavored vaping products, excluding tobacco-flavored ones, and 2) increasing the minimum age of purchasing tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 19 or more. Saskatchewan has some of the highest smoking and vaping rates among the country’s youth. For instance, according to statistics from 2019, approximately 30% of Saskatchewan’s youth in grades 7 to 12 reported vaping in the past 30 days, which is skyrocketing. In comparison, Saskatchewan is the only province with a younger purchasing age for tobacco and vaping products (18) than for alcohol and cannabis (19). The accessibility and availability of flavored vaping products to youth are the primary drivers of addiction, according to Dr. Erika Penz, respirologist, and associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan. She stated that the rise of the youth vaping epidemic endangers decades of public health accomplishments in fighting tobacco-related illnesses and deaths in Saskatchewan. Smoking commercial tobacco is the primary cause of preventable diseases and fatalities globally, resulting in eight million deaths worldwide. Every year in Canada, 48,000 individuals and over 1,600 Saskatchewan residents experience the same fate.

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