The provincial government is reportedly not responding to their calls to action and a new report that shows Saskatchewan's teen smoking rate is three times the national average, has the Canadian Cancer Society upset.
Saskatchewan Health Policy Analyst For the Canadian Cancer Society Donna Pasiechnik says other provinces in Canada are making it harder for people to smoke but we seem to be stuck here at home.
"We know that most smokers start when they are teens and half of those will become lifelong smokers, putting an enormous burden on the health care system and on families," said Pasiechnik. "We're very concerned."
A rise in the popularity of vaping and water pipe smoking, also known as hookahs that use a flavoured shisha, has added to the variety of products available. 8% of Canadian teens reportedly smoke according to a Health Canada survey but in Saskatchewan, 22% use tobacco products.
"The problem is that many measures that other provinces have adopted to tackle smoking rates have not been adopted by the Saskatchewan government, despite our calls to action for the last decade."
Measures like banning all flavoured tobacco products, tighter regulations on vaping or e-cigarettes and more restrictions on where people can smoke are just some of those suggestions. Pasiechnik says they're disappointed that the province has rejected their attempts to get smoking on restaurant patios banned and notes that some cities have moved ahead to do it themselves through local bylaws, something she'd like to see Moose Jaw City Council do as well.