While the government of Saskatchewan will consider a province-wide ban on vaping in public places, it doesn’t appear it will be enacted, anytime soon, if at all.
On Wednesday, during what is called a bear pit session, cabinet ministers fielded questions from the crowd of municipal delegates from across the province.
Regina city councillor Bob Hawkins used the opportunity to ask Health Minister Dustin Duncan whether the province would support a ban on vaping.
“The intent is to ensure that we don’t have a patchwork. I’m not sure how that’s really possible,” responded the minister.
“I’m not sure that any measure by the province really necessarily removes that patchwork,” Duncan added after the bear pit session.
Currently, Saskatoon has its own vaping bylaw in place. Other communities, like Regina, don’t. Duncan explained that even if a law was created and added into current tobacco legislation, cities and towns still have the option of going above and beyond that kind of law, meaning inconsistencies surrounding the rules on vaping could remain.
“Municipalities are independent. They can make these decisions on their own if they feel like they want to go stronger than the provincial government. They have that ability and some have already done that,” he explained.
Duncan said he’s also being cautious because e-cigarettes seem to help people quit smoking regular cigarettes, and quitting tobacco is what the government would ultimately like to see as the end goal.
“It is anecdotal at this point, but certainly people have found success in reducing their reliance on tobacco because of vaping.”
The minister said the government would take SUMA’s wishes on vaping under advisement while some decisions are made regarding the issue.