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Ministry of Health supporting initiative to ban the use of vaping devices in public spaces

The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, on Tuesday endorsed an initiative to ban the use of vaping devices in Costa Rica’s public spaces.

According to the Minister, who was speaking to the deputies of the Committee on Social Affairs, bill 21.658 has the full support of the entity.

“I think this project is extremely important for the country. It has the full support of the Ministry of Health,” Salas said. “It is completely in line with the health alert we already issued regarding the use of vaping devices, where we have even been very clear that there is no study that can show e-cigarettes are a smoking cessation therapy.

“On the contrary, we have to disincentivize the use of cigarettes and the use of vaporizers.”

The project, promoted by the deputy of the National Liberation Party, Luis Aiza, calls for a tax of ₡1,000 (about $1.75) for each vaporizer, as well as vaping liquids. The idea is that these resources be allocated to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and be earmarked for the treatment of diseases related to tobacco consumption.

“The use of these vaporizers or electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine represents a considerable health risk,” Aiza said.

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A version of this story was originally published by Semanario Universidad on January 29, 2020. It was translated and republished with permission by The Tico Times. Read the original report at Semanario Universidad here.

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