Canada May Ban Tobacco Sales Entirely Based on Age

Health experts want the government to stop selling cigarettes to anyone born after 2008. This idea comes from a policy in New Zealand, but their new Prime Minister is not going forward with it.

Dr. Andrew Pipe, a scientist who helps people quit smoking, thinks Canada should consider this policy. He says it could stop a new generation from getting addicted to nicotine, which is in cigarettes. He also mentions that tobacco, which is used to make cigarettes, is a big health problem in Canada.

New Zealand had a good plan in 2021 to control tobacco use, says Dr. Pipe. Many people who want to reduce smoking liked this plan. But the new Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon, says he will cancel these plans before they start.

Dr. Pipe is hopeful that a similar plan could be used in Canada. He thinks it’s a practical way to help young Canadians.

Dr. Vera Etches, a health officer in Ottawa, gave her thoughts on a law about tobacco and vaping products. She thinks Canada should have a plan like New Zealand’s Smoke-Free Generation Policy.

This policy in New Zealand aimed to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, limit the number of stores selling cigarettes, and stop anyone born after 2008 from buying cigarettes.

Health Canada, the department responsible for public health, is looking at all the suggestions they received about reducing tobacco use in Canada. They will write a final report about it.

The office of the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Ya’ara Saks, will comment when the report is done.

Rob Cunningham from the Canadian Cancer Society supports the New Zealand policy. He says most Canadians who smoke started when they were young. If Canada uses this policy, it should include all tobacco and vaping products. He mentions that more young people are vaping, and not including vaping in the policy would be a mistake.

He also suggests that there should be fewer places selling tobacco and that no one under 21 should be able to buy cigarettes, like in Prince Edward Island.

Dr. Etches also suggests that the minimum age to buy tobacco, nicotine, and vapour products should be 21, except for products that help people quit smoking.

Right now, the law says you have to be at least 18 to buy tobacco products in Canada.