June 20, 2018

Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Introduces No-Smoking Policy

On August 1, 2018, Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) will implement a provincial no-smoking policy in all SHC-owned or leased properties.

Smoking and vaping (including cannabis) will not be permitted except in designated smoking areas located outside.  Local housing authorities will work with tenants to implement the no-smoking policy.

Saskatchewan will be the second province or territory to implement a province-wide no-smoking policy in government-owned housing.  Yukon was the first.

“The health and safety of tenants is of utmost importance to us,” Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Paul Merriman said.  “Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in Canada and the dangers of second-hand smoke are widely documented.  A no-smoking policy will provide tenants in SHC units with safer and healthier living environments.”

“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,” Canadian Cancer Society Tobacco Control Manager Donna Pasiechnik said.  “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.”

Smoking negatively affects indoor air quality for smokers and non-smokers alike.  Smoke is particularly harmful to children and people living with respiratory illnesses, heart disease, cancer, and other conditions that compromise overall health.

SHC’s no-smoking policy will provide benefits that include:

  • improved and safer air quality;
  • reduced risk of fires;
  • reduced maintenance, cleaning, and recovery costs; and
  • reduced complaints of second-hand smoke.

SHC understands that this new policy will pose challenges for some tenants.  Tenants will not be required to quit smoking.  However, they will be required to smoke in designated outdoor smoking areas only.

Implementing a no-smoking policy in SHC units aligns with other initiatives and strategies, such as the provincial Tobacco Reduction Strategy and bylaws to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke.  This policy also aligns with provincial legislation which bans smoking in enclosed public places, in cars with passengers under the age of 16, and on school grounds.

SHC is committed to supporting and educating tenants and helping them comply with this new policy.  On request, SHC will provide tenants and personnel with information on a variety of free programs and resources to help quit smoking.

For more information, visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/wellness-and-prevention/tobacco/.  Other resources include: Smoker’s Helpline at https://www.smokershelpline.ca/ and Partnership to Assist with Cessation of Tobacco (PACT): http://www.makeapact.ca/.