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Restricted sales, tax increase on vape products coming to Sask. in fall

Sask. is increasing restrictions even further, beginning in Sept.
After rising concerns about teens using vape products, new legislation is set to restrict sales from youth even further.

REGINA — Changes to the way vaping products are sold and taxed will come into effect this September, as the government works to change vaping habits in the province’s youth.

Vape products, just like nicotine and tobacco, can only be sold to individuals 18 and older, after previous amendments to legislation in February of 2020.

Beginning on Sept. 1, amendments to regulations will limit the sale and marketing of flavoured vape products to retail businesses that are age-restricted, like adult-only vape shops.

Sales tax on these products will also be increasing from 6 per cent to 20 per cent, categorized as the Vapour Products Tax (VPT), to be more in line with taxation on similar tobacco products. 

The changes were approved in April by the provincial government, following previous legislation determining that vape products be treated like tobacco products.

The new legislation aims to reduce vaping rates in youth by limiting access, especially to flavoured products, in response to rising concerns about the use of vapes and e-cigarette devices by teens.

"Vaping exposes our young people to harmful and addictive chemicals," said Health Minister Paul Merriman.

A 2019 study showed that vaping rates among Saskatchewan teens were increasing, with 18 per cent of students in grades 7-8 and 40 per cent in grades 10-12 reporting they had used a vape in the last 30 days.

The provincial government has said that the new regulations coming in demonstrate acknowledgement that vape products and nicotine products are linked, and therefore should be treated similarly.