Saskatchewan leads country in smoking rates

The Canadian Cancer Society continues to lobby the Saskatchewan government to institute measures which will reduce smoking in the province.

A recent survey shows 20 per cent of people in Saskatchewan are smoking which tops the numbers when compared to other provinces. The national average is 16 per cent.

While that number is better than it was a decade ago, it is still a number that disappoints the society.

Donna Pachiesnik with the Canadian Cancer Society said the news is discouraging, but not surprising.

“We haven’t had an update to our tobacco laws for 10 years and we don’t have any vaping regulations in place,” she said.

Their group has been calling for change to rules such as increasing the age to purchase vaping and tobacco products to 21. And there may be some positive news on that front.

Pachiesnik mentioned that Health Minister Jim Reiter appears to be listening to the concerns they have.

“We’ve discussed this with him and other MLAs. We had a reception at the Legislative Building in April which was an eye opener for many.”

Pachiesnik added that these requests are not bold and outlandish, and the recommendations may help reduce smoking rates in the province since they have been adopted in other provinces.

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