Last year, Costa Rica’s Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, voiced his support towards a ban on the use of vaping devices in public spaces, which has now been approved.
Speaking to the deputies of the Committee on Social Affairs, earlier this year, Salas said that Bill 21.658, which would set the regulations in question in place, has his full support. “I think this project is extremely important for the country. It has the full support of the Ministry of Health,” he 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 dis-incentivize the use of cigarettes and the use of vaporizers,” added Salas inaccurately.
The bill has now been approved with 33 votes in favour and seven against. Besides banning to use of vaping products in most public spaces, the bill also suggests a tax on electronic devices. Sadly, Salas inaccurately stated that to date there is no study indicating that the products are effective smoking cessation tools.
“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.”
Vapes’ potential role in decreasing Australia’s stalled smoking rates
In contrast to this, a scientific review from Australia, has in line with previous similar studies, indicated that vaping nicotine-containing e-cigs is effective for smoking cessation and could reduce smoking rates substantially.
The peer-reviewed study titled, “Could vaping help lower smoking rates in Australia?” was co authored by Australian academics Conjoint Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn, Professor Wayne Hall and Professor Ron Borland. It found that vaping could play an essential role in decreasing Australia’s stalled smoking rates.
“There is evidence that vaping has increased quit attempts and reduced national smoking rates in the UK and USA, where the decline in prevalence of smoking has accelerated. This contrasts with countries such as Australia with restrictive vaping policies where such declines in prevalence are not being observed.”
The UK has been a leader in endorsing the use of safer alternatives to reduce tobacco harm, and local smoking rates are reflecting this. Earlier this year, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has officially recognized and recommended as smoking cessation tools. A press release by the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) welcomed the development. “The draft new guidelines on how to effectively help smokers to quit, state that:
- ‘nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can help people to stop smoking and are similarly effective to other cessation options’ and
- ‘people should be able to use e-cigarettes as one of several options to support smoking cessation, if they so choose.’”
Originally published here.