Canadian Cancer Society supports vape tax, as nearly one-third of Sask. teens vape daily
SASKATOON -- Canadian Cancer Society regional manager Angeline Webb says they support the 20 per cent provincial tax on vapour products.
She says price measures have been proven to reduce vaping among youth and adults.
“Currently, vaping products are quite affordable so we want to price kids out of the market.”
The provincial government says the additional cost will help "prevent vapour products from being attractive to youth and non-smokers."
Health Canada research shows that 30 per cent of teens in Saskatchewan vape on a daily basis, according to Webb.
She says research from Health Canada and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control shows that teens who vape are three times more likely to start smoking.
In Saskatchewan, consumers currently pay six per cent GST and six per cent PST on vape products.
The province’s Bill 32 would add 14 percentage points to the price of vapour liquids, products and devices on Sept. 1, 2021.
The federal government is conducting research to support a ban on flavoured vape products sales in Canada - a move Webb says is supported by the Canadian Cancer Agency.
Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have banned all flavoured e-liquids and vape products. Quebec and New Brunswick are also considering restrictions to flavoured vaping products.
“Flavoured vaping products are enticing to youth who try and continue to use vaping products because of the flavours,” said Webb. “People who use vape products are 30 per cent more likely to develop a serious respiratory illness.”
However, Kevin Tetz, co-owner and operator of Inspired Vapor Company, says vaping reduces the taxpayer healthcare burden by reducing smoking-related disease and death.
David Clement, North American affairs manager for Consumer Choice Center, a North American consumer advocacy group, agrees with Tetz.
Clement says Bill 32 will place higher costs on both nicotine and cannabis vape products for consumers.
“This is ultimately going to throw consumers under the bus, specifically adult consumers and smokers who use vape products as a means to switch away from smoking cigarettes,” said Clement.
Vape stores can’t sell to people under 18 years and stores are required to block their windows to prevent their products from being in public view.
Blaine Tetz, co-owner of Inspired Vapor Company says he smoked for over 30 years and tried to quit smoking using the nicotine patch, prescription drugs, hypnosis and will power. He was able to quit smoking in 2017 after he started vaping.
“I gradually worked my way out of smoking cigarettes until I didn’t want them anymore and the only reason I was able to do that was because I had a replacement for the nicotine,” said Tetz.
Tetz now owns and operates three vape shops in partnership with his son in Melfort, Prince Albert and Humboldt. He says he has over a thousand customers in his customer data base who have told their store they have been able to quit smoking with the help of vapes.
He says their stores sell many kinds of “vape juice,” some non-nicotine flavoured liquids to nicotine liquids of various concentrations.
Blaine Tetz says a flavour ban would “decimate the industry.”
Under provincial rules, vapour products cannot be used in and around enclosed public places or within three metres of a doorway, window or air intake of an enclosed public place.
A previous version of this story misstated the provincial vaping regulations.