The vapour products tax (VPT) on the retail price of all vapour liquids, products and devices will become effective September 1st. As of then, only retailers with a VDT licence will be allowed to sell these products across the province.
The tax will have a negative impact on those choosing to use vape products over combustible tobacco.
“It wasn’t a surprise. We kind of expected it to happen based on other provinces implementing a similar tax,” said Mike Smider, Queen City Vapes owner in Regina. “It was only a matter of time before other provinces followed suit, like Alberta is getting their tax. Manitoba’s going to get one as well.”
Smider said the most upsetting part of the tax is the negative impact it will have on those choosing to use vape products over combustible tobacco. “It will deter in some way folks that are interested in this product to utilize as a harm reduction product,” he said. “It’s a product designed by smokers for smokers to help them switch to a less harmful alternative of getting their nicotine. It will deter in a way that will make it a little bit unaffordable, especially for those of lower income.”
An unnecessary burden?
Similarly, Dane Rusk owner of Element Vapes in Regina said the tax will serve no purpose aside from placing an unnecessary financial strain on vape users. “I personally think the tax will actually hurt the average adult vaper. As adults, we have bills, mortgages, rent, car payments and kids to feed. I think it’ll make it a lot more expensive and unattainable for us to get a safer and less harmful alternative than cigarettes.”
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s Health Minister Paul Merriman said the tax was introduced to reduce vaping rates, especially amongst youth. “There’s been a huge increase in people under 25 using vapes. Initially, it was a smoking alternative, but there are negative health effects. We want to discourage people from vaping.”
Read Further: Global News