Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to introduce Bill 40: The Smoking and Control Reduction Act. The development of this bill has been the result of significant time and effort by the Department of Health and Social Services and wouldn't have been made possible without the input and contribution from the Standing Committee on Social Development as well as members of the public.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Social Development for the time they have taken to ensure that this bill received a comprehensive review. I wish to acknowledge the time and effort members of the public took to develop submissions and share research on the effect of smoking on today's society.
Mr. Chair, smoking is a serious public health concern, and the NWT has one of the highest smoking rates in Canada. The primary purpose of this Bill 40 is to protect the public, particularly children and youth, from a variety of second-hand smoke exposure, including vaping aerosol. To protect the public's health, prohibiting the general act of smoking any substance is considered more effective than trying to distinguish between which product is actually being used.
Bill 40 would repeal the Cannabis Smoking Control Act and replace it with the comprehensive legislation that restricts smoking of any substance in specific public areas to protect the public, deter uptake, and denormalize smoking. Thank you, Mr. Chair.