The Saskatchewan Health Authority says a designated smoking area at a Regina high school will need to be shut down.

Students at Miller Comprehensive High School smoke in an area behind the school. The Regina Catholic School Board confirmed that the school has a designated area for smoking that is monitored by staff.

The board says the area is there due to safety concerns. The school is at the intersection of Winnipeg Street and College Avenue — a high-traffic area. By having the smoking area, the school board says it’s keeping students away from traffic and off nearby properties.

Recent numbers show Saskatchewan has the highest rate of teen smokers of any province in Canada. Around 22 per cent of Saskatchewan residents between 15 and 19 years old smoke, well above the national average of eight per cent.

“When we look at those numbers at Miller and compared them to those numbers, we are four per cent lower than the average high school and two per cent lower than the sister school they were matched up in this survey,” Twyla West with the Regina Catholic School Board said.

The SHA told CTV News it only became of the smoking area on Monday.

“We have advised the school that this smoking area is not in compliance with Saskatchewan’s Tobacco Control Act and will need to be discontinued immediately,” the SHA said in a written statement to CTV News.

Regina Public Schools says there aren’t any designated smoking areas at any of its schools.

The SHA will be following up with all local Regina and area school divisions to ensure they are aware of smoking restrictions.