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Health alert warns Costa Ricans not to use vaping devices

November 11, 2019

The Ministry of Health has recommended Costa Ricans against using electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices.

Citing reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ministry of Health said there is “scientific evidence about the health risks posed” by the use of vaping devices.

The United States has reported 1,888 vaping-related illnesses and at least 37 deaths through Oct. 29.

A 2015 study showed 1.3% of Costa Ricans use e-cigarettes, but the Ministry of Health says those numbers have increased significantly, particularly among teens and young adults.

“In addition,” the Ministry of Health says, “it should be noted that in recent years there has been a wide proliferation of stores that offer electronic nicotine delivery systems and similar systems without nicotine, and liquids for these, throughout the national territory or online.”

The Ministry of Health alert encompass electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, e-hookahs, tanks, mods and others.

The alert instructs hospitals and other medical institutions to report pulmonary illnesses to the Ministry of Health so it can better evaluate the risks of using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices in Costa Rica.

Vaping in Costa Rica: Recommendations to the public

The Ministry of Health says “all tobacco products including electronic nicotine delivery systems and similar systems without nicotine carry health risks.”

While authorities evaluate those dangers, the Ministry of Health says “it is not recommended that [vaping devices or e-cigarettes] be used under any modality, nor as a method to quit tobacco products and their derivatives, especially in more susceptible populations such as the young and adolescent population.”

The Ministry of Health issued the following recommendations to the public:

  • Do not use electronic nicotine delivery systems and similar systems without nicotine.
  • If you are already a user, suspend your use.
  • Do not use electronic nicotine delivery systems or similar systems without nicotine as a method to quit smoking. Use the smoking cessation methods recommended by the CCSS and the IAFA.
  • Do not expose yourself to aerosols emanating from electronic nicotine delivery systems and similar systems without nicotine.
  • To administrators or those responsible for 100% smoke-free spaces, do not allow the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems and similar systems without nicotine in these sites.
  • For parents, monitor changes in the behavior of your children, as well as the electronic devices that they have under their power that emit odors and steam.

The Ministry of Health says it will support legislation banning the use of vaping devices and e-cigarettes in public spaces.

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