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Tobacco, Vapour Products and Your Health

Whether you're smoking, chewing or sniffing tobacco or using vapour products, you are increasing your health risks and may be jeopardizing the health of others.


Effective February 1, 2024, the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapour products in Saskatchewan increased from 18 to 19.


1. Nicotine and the Body

In its pure form, nicotine is a strong poison. A small dose of it, injected directly into the bloodstream, will kill a person within an hour. Because it is inhaled, it only takes seven to 10 seconds to reach the brain – twice as fast as intravenous drugs and three times faster than alcohol.

Once there, it mimics some of the actions of adrenaline. After a few puffs, the level of nicotine in the blood skyrockets, the heart beats faster and the blood pressure increases. The result is that the smoker feels more alert and may actually think faster.

In addition, nicotine may produce a calming effect by triggering the release of natural opiates called beta-endorphins. Thus, smoking produces two feelings: alertness and calmness.

Since nicotine can't be stored in the body, you must smoke more to maintain a relatively constant level in the blood. This is why you suffer withdrawal symptoms when you stop using.

Find more information about tobacco at Health Canada and get help quitting at the Smokers' Helpline.


2. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is hard, but worth it:

  • Within eight hours of quitting, carbon monoxide level drops in your body and the oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.
  • Within 48 hours, your chances of having a heart attack start to go down and your sense of smell and taste begin to improve.
  • Within 72 hours, bronchial tubes relax making breathing easier and lung capacity increases.
  • Within two weeks to three months, circulation improves and lung functioning increases up to 30 per cent.
  • Within six months, coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve.
  • Within one year, risk of smoking-related heart attack is cut in half.
  • Within 10 years, risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.
  • Within 15 years, risk of dying from a heart attack is equal to a person who never smoked.

When you decide to quit smoking, know what you are getting into. If you know what to expect, you have a better chance of success. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known.


3. Vapour Products

The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act regulates the use, sale, display and advertisement of vapour products in Saskatchewan. These legislative measures will help protect Saskatchewan residents from the harms of vaping, and reduce the use of vaping products, most notably amongst our province's young people. The legislation restricts the sale of vapour products to individuals 19 years or older.

For information on risks of vaping, visit Health Canada - Risks of Vaping.

For any questions or concerns related to the use or sale of vapour products in Saskatchewan, please contact your local Saskatchewan Health Authority public health office.

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