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Panama Vape News

Time: 2022-07-03

Views: 46

Panama bans all e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products with or without nicotine

On June 30, nearly a year after Panama's National Assembly passed legislation banning the sale of vaping products, Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo agreed to the bill. The new law bans the sale and import of all e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products with or without nicotine.


The law does not criminalize the use of e-cigarettes, but prohibits the use of e-cigarettes anywhere smoking is not permitted. The new law also bans online shopping and gives customs officials the power to inspect, detain and seize goods.


According to La Prensa, dealers can import prohibited products for export to third countries.


President Cortizzo vetoed a ban passed by the National Assembly in 2020, then waited nearly a year to approve the 2021 bill. Panama has banned the sale of e-cigarettes by executive decree in 2014.


Consumer vaping advocates at Asociación por la Reducción de Daños del Tabaquismo de Panamá (ARDT Panamá) opposed the passage of the bill last year, noting that it would push vaping consumers to buy illegal black-market products of questionable quality.


More than a dozen Latin American and Caribbean countries have vaping bans, including Mexico, whose president recently issued a decree banning the sale of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.


Much of the impetus for these laws comes from the World Health Organization (WHO), which is staunchly anti-vaping, and tobacco control groups funded by its affiliated Bloomberg Philanthropies, such as the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the Coalition. Their influence is large in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and extends to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international treaty body sponsored by the World Health Organization.


Panama will host the 10th FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP10) in 2023. Last year's COP9 meeting was held online, and FCTC leadership postponed discussions on e-cigarette laws and regulations until next year's meeting.


The President of Panama and the country's public health authorities may expect high praise from the FCTC's anti-vaping leadership at the 2023 meeting. Panama is likely to receive incentives from the World Health Organization and regional tobacco control groups for its ban stance, just like India and Mexico.


The Republic of Panama borders Colombia, connecting North and South America, and its famous Panama Canal bisects the narrow country for easy passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Panama has a population of about four million.



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