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Vaping Products Now Banned in Costa Rica

Health Risks Prompt Strict New Measures in the Country

par Yves Pepito Malette
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Vaping has become a global trend since the first electronic cigarettes were commercialized in the early 2000s. This practice involves inhaling vapor produced by an electronic device that heats a liquid typically containing nicotine, flavors, and other chemical substances. Here is an overview of the popularity and regulation of vaping worldwide.

In Latin America, the situation is mixed. Some countries, like Brazil and Mexico, have banned vaping products, while others see their market grow with less strict regulations. Costa Rica, for instance, announced on Tuesday an upcoming ban on products containing synthetic nicotine. This measure specifically targets the e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. The Ministry of Health stated that this ban will cover the «sale, use, marketing, advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of vaping liquids containing synthetic nicotine and cannabinoids.»

The new regulation has been welcomed by the National Anti-Tobacco Network (Renata), which expressed its support in a statement, applauding the government for this decision. However, this measure is seen as an «injustice» by merchants who fear significant economic losses.

On the streets, opinions are divided: some consumers believe vaping is «less harmful» than conventional tobacco, while non-smokers are pleased not to be exposed to vape smoke.

Many public health experts also support that vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking and can help smokers quit. However, this position is contested by those who fear vaping can also lead to nicotine addiction.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in December 2023 of the need for «urgent control measures for electronic cigarettes,» emphasizing that these devices «do not help to quit smoking and pose health risks.» Many public health experts nevertheless consider vaping a less harmful alternative to tobacco and a potential tool to quit smoking, though this position is contested.

In summary, vaping is a rapidly growing global trend surrounded by controversies and varied regulations. Opinions differ on its benefits and risks, leading to different regulatory approaches worldwide.

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