Costa Rica Creates Regulations and Labeling for Electronic Cigarettes

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The Ministry of Health is working on the regulation of the sale and labeling of electronic cigarettes, within the General Law on Control of Tobacco because of its potential harmful health effects.

    According to the Area Director of Central Health, Dr. Allan Varela, cigarettes containing nicotine must have the new labeling, which is designed by the Ministry of Health and alludes to the consequences of smoking, such as lung and mouth cancer.

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    “After an analysis in the Ministry one concluded that the Snuff Control Act reaches out perfectly to cover electronic cigarettes, since it is clear that it covers any product that contains nicotine, like some electronic cigarettes do. This means that its use in smoke-free public places is prohibited. It is necessary to have the ingredient statement and the same must comply with the labeling, ” said Dr. Varela.

    This modification of packing could be in the month of September and will concern all cigarette packs, that seek to alert the consumer before using the product.

    In the case of cigarettes that do not contain nicotine and are of different flavors, it will be discussed in the next few weeks whether they will be classified as toys in the form of cigarettes.

    “The 9028 Act is very clear and prohibits toys that encourage smoking. This could happen to the electronic cigarette flavor, ” said Dr. Varela.

    According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), electronic cigarettes give nicotine to the user in the form of steam, are usually battery operated and come with a replaceable cartridge, containing liquid nicotine. When heated, the liquid in the cartridge becomes vapor that users inhale.

    Most look like cigarettes, cigars or pipes, but some resemble pens or USB memory sticks. As they have not been studied completely, the FDA said that health risks may be present. How much nicotine or other chemicals are inhaled in reality, or if there is any benefit in using them, is unknown.

    Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Diseases reported that the percentage of high school students that have used electronic cigarettes, increased by more than 200% in a year, from 4.7% to 10% between 2011 and 2012.

    Nicotine is a drug and poison experts say that the liquid solution used in electronic cigarettes is highly toxic, even in small doses. It can be inhaled or absorbed through skin.

    The FDA also proposed to regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes, the use of which has become popular in recent years, especially among teenagers.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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