The new school year in Saskatchewan will be smoke-free under a ban that takes effect Aug. 15. ((CBC))

No smoking will be allowed in or near schools in Saskatchewan after an expanded tobacco ban takes effect in August.

The provincial government passed the ban in May and announced Wednesday it will be in force as of Aug. 15, in time for the new school year.

Most schools in Saskatchewan resume operations in late August and early September.

Saskatchewan already outlaws smoking in restaurants and other public places, but now will prohibit it specifically in schools and on school grounds.

"We believe the [new law] will have a significant impact in protecting Saskatchewan residents from the harms of environmental tobacco smoke and will reduce the use of tobacco, most notably among our province's young people," Don McMorris, Saskatchewan's minister of health, said in a news release.


Students will have to light up far from the school grounds. (CBC)

Other provisions of the Tobacco Control Act will take effect later in 2010 and 2011, including:

  • Effective Oct. 1, 2010: No smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 16 and no smoking in common areas of apartments and condos.
  • Effective early in 2011: No cigarette sales in pharmacies.

According to Saskatchewan's budget documents for 2010-11, the government will collect $235 million in tobacco taxes this year, an increase from $199 million the year before.

Cigarette taxes went up to $5.25 a package last March.