Kieron Testart on Committee Motion 158-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Raising Minimum Age, Carried
Committee Motion 158-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Raising Minimum Age, Carried Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and I know this is not really the opportunity to ask questions, but I am just curious as to why. The committee has made several observations in its report around their sound rationale and argument to raise the age from 19 to a higher age, as has been done in British Columbia. This is on page 10 of the report, and there are a number of arguments that it should be raised from 18 to around 21, or higher than the age for other substances. The committee knows that the Canadian Cancer Society argues that tobacco should be different than alcohol and cannabis, and I understand that because we are definitely moving to a different paradigm as it relates to tobacco and as it relates to the known and scientifically proven deleterious effects on tobacco use on health, yet this motion is calling for broader than just tobacco, but also liquor and cannabis. I just wonder why the committee is calling for all of these age limits to be reviewed and explored as to the merits when the issue here seems to be tobacco and vaping products.
I am not so sure I support even exploring options around liquor and cannabis minimum ages. That is a debate we had when the Cannabis Legalization Implementation Act came forward, and there was good reason to keep those, to keep the minimums, around 19 to prevent the illicit trade of those substances. I think we are in a different paradigm with tobacco, so, at this point, I find it difficult to support looking at all of those limits. I would prefer this motion address the issue here that the committee again has noted in its report, of tobacco and vaping products. Thank you.