If you happen to live and smoke in an apartment in Canada, your smoking and vaping days may soon be coming to an abrupt end. Health Canada is considering new anti-tobacco guidelines that could see a ban on smoking and vaping inside apartments, on post-secondary campuses and in public parks.
In addition to the broad-ranging ban, the new guidelines would see the legal age for buying tobacco products raised to 21.
According to the discussion paper, approximately 5 per cent of Canadians continue to use tobacco products, including an estimated 3.9 million smokers. Health Canada would like to see tobacco use cut to less than 5 per cent by the year 2035.
Approximately 37,000 Canadians die from smoking related illnesses every year – or about one person every 14 minutes. Additionally, smoking costs Canadians $17 billion in health care and indirect economic costs every year.
As part of a future strategy, the Government of Canada would continue to enforce key measures that protect youth. In addition to these, other measures could be considered:
- Raising the minimum age of access nationally – Collaborate with provincial and territorial counterparts to increase the minimum age to be sold tobacco to 21 years (recognizing that doing so would require careful consideration of age of access for non-medical cannabis).
- Tobacco addictiveness reduction – Develop regulatory options for reducing the addictiveness of tobacco products in order to prevent people from becoming users.
- Smoke- and vapour-free spaces – Work with partners to support broadening smoke- and vapour-free spaces, including bans on use on post-secondary campuses, in public parks, or in multi-unit dwellings. This work could also consider where cannabis could be smoked or vaporized.
- Contraband – In an effort to combat contraband tobacco over and above current actions, the federal government could work with partners to tighten controls around the supply and movement of materials needed to manufacture tobacco products as well as the actual sales of illicit tobacco.
Health Canada is seeking input from Canadians on the proposed measures until April 13, 2017.