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Vaping Surge in Costa Rica Alarms Health Authorities

The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) reports an alarming increase in health disorders associated with vaping. According to official data, registered cases in the country increased from 13 in 2021 to 1,456 in 2023. “Vaping is not a safe activity and is generating more and more health problems,” warned Dr. Marny Ramos, coordinator of the Commission for the Implementation of the CCSS Cessation Clinics.

Specialists point out that vaping affects especially adolescents and young adults, who practice it more frequently. Dr. Ramos pointed out that “it is the younger people who are reporting this higher consumption, both in men and women.”

In addition to respiratory diseases, vaping also increases the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and carbohydrate intolerance.

“This is going to increase early deaths, in ages ranging from 30 to 70,” Dr. Ramos warned. The specialist also denied that vaping was an effective method for those who are trying to quit smoking.

“The illusion that vaping can help quit smoking is false. In fact, the data show that people who vape end up smoking and vaping as well,” the doctor added.

She also stressed that vaping can become the gateway to conventional tobacco use, as it generates nicotine addiction. “From 2022 to 2023, the number of people with tobacco-related disorders almost doubled,” she noted.

UK’s Tobbaco Ban

Other nations such as the UK have worked towards the prohibition of tobacco. Under the new law, people born in 2009 and after will never be able to legally purchase such products.  “It will save more lives than any other decision we could take,” said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

If enacted, this would become the toughest anti-tobacco law. A similar plan was due to come into force in New Zealand. It was proposed by former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern but reversed by the new government.

While Costa Rica has passed anti-smoking laws and, in general, has done a good job educating people on the risks of smoking, new challenges arise with younger generations who are exposed to new and attractive tobacco products.

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