The first provision of new tobacco legislation will come into effect on August 15 in Saskatchewan. The legislation, which prohibits all tobacco use in schools and on school property, is part of The Tobacco Control Amendment Act, 2010 which was passed by the Legislature on May 20.
"The different amendments of The Tobacco Control Act will come into effect in a staged approach," Health Minister Don McMorris said.
The proposed date for the second stage is October 1, and will include the following provisions: prohibiting smoking in vehicles when children under the age of 16 are present; prohibiting smoking in common areas of multi-unit dwellings; and prohibiting smoking within a prescribed distance of doorways, windows and air intakes. Provisions related to retailer signage, the visibility of tobacco and tobacco-related products and the sale of little cigars in packages of less than 20 will also come into effect at this time.
The final stage will occur early in 2011 and will include the provisions that will prohibit the sale of tobacco in pharmacies.
"Proclaiming the provisions of the act in this manner will ensure plenty of lead time for retailers and others most affected by the legislation to make the necessary changes to comply with the new legislation and regulations," McMorris said.
The Ministry of Health is currently working with the Ministry of Justice to make amendments to The Summary Offences and Procedures Regulations which will also support enforcement and establish fines.
"We believe the amendments to the Tobacco Control Act will have a significant impact in protecting Saskatchewan residents from the harms of environmental tobacco smoke, and will reduce the use of tobacco, most notably among our province's young people," McMorris said.
The Tobacco Control Amendment Act, 2010 has been developed through consultation with a wide variety of groups and organizations and is one component of the provincial strategy to reduce tobacco use in Saskatchewan.