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Smoking to be banned on Saskatchewan Housing Corporation properties

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. Pawel Dwulit, The Canadian Press

Smoking will be banned at all Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) owned or leased properties as of Aug. 1.

The ban includes vaping and cannabis products.

Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said the new policy is to ensure the health and safety of all tenants.

READ MORE: Others could follow after University of Regina bans smoking on campus

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in Canada and the dangers of second-hand smoke are widely documented,” said Merriman, who is also the minister responsible for SHC.

“A no-smoking policy will provide tenants in SHC units with safer and healthier living environments.”

Smoking will be allowed in designated outdoor areas.

Officials said the no-smoking policy will provide a number of benefits for tenants including improved air quality, a reduced risk of fire, and fewer secondhand smoke complaints.

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan tenants have the right to be protected from second-hand smoke

The Canadian Cancer Society is cheering the move.

“We applaud the provincial government for protecting the health of children, seniors and other vulnerable populations who are especially sensitive to the respiratory effects of second-hand smoke,” said Donna Pasiechnik, the tobacco control manager for the society.

“For many of these people, social housing is their only affordable or practical option. “This much-needed measure will improve the health and well-being of thousands of people in this province.”

SHC said the new policy could pose challenges for some tenants and will work with them to help them comply with the no-smoking policy. Information on kicking the habit will also be provided.

Saskatchewan will become the second province or territory, after the Yukon, to implement a province-wide no-smoking policy.

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