Preventing cancer through healthy public policy
To help prevent cancer before it starts, Saskatchewan needs a comprehensive plan to reduce tobacco use in the province. Tobacco is responsible for 30 percent of all cancer deaths. More Saskatchewan residents die from lung cancer than any other cancer.
For most of the past decade, Saskatchewan has had the highest youth smoking rate in Canada. For every person who quits smoking or dies from their addiction, the tobacco industry needs to recruit new customers. To do that, tobacco companies have come up with ways to entice youth with candy and fruit flavoured tobacco, and menthol capsules which are embedded into the filters of cigarettes. Flavours mask the harsh taste of tobacco and make it easier for youth to experiment and become addicted.
To protect our youth from these deadly products and support people who are trying to quit, Saskatchewan needs to invest more money into tobacco reduction and adopt new legislation.
Ban all flavoured tobacco products to prevent youth from starting
• More than half of high school students who use tobacco are using flavoured products
• Five provinces have adopted legislation to ban flavoured tobacco products
• 81% of Saskatchewan residents support a ban on flavoured tobacco (Ipsos Reid, 2013)
Adopt regulations for electronic cigarettes to prevent youth from using them
• E-cigarettes are appealing to youth and young adult, with 1 out of 5 having used them at least once
• Currently there are no laws in Saskatchewan restricting a child from purchasing e-cigarettes
• There are no provincial laws restricting where e-cigarettes can be used support integration of those skilled workers into the system
Restrict smoking in outdoor places including on public patios, playgrounds and sportsfields
• Studies show that second-hand smoke (SHS) in certain outdoor settings is a health hazard.
• Restaurant and bar patios are workplaces, and staff should be protected
• Being exposed to smoking can normalize smoking which may lead to more youth to start smoking. For people
trying to quit, even seeing people smoking or smelling it can cause relapse
Increase funding for tobacco reduction
• Saskatchewan collects approximately $275 million annually in tobacco taxes, but spends less than $500 thousand on programs to prevent youth from starting or to help people quit
• Saskatchewan spend 40 cents per capita on tobacco reduction, the lowest of any province in Canada The lack of investment in tobacco control is one of the reasons Saskatchewan has some the high smoking rates in Canada