Brazilian Justice Ministry cracks down on e-cigarette retail sales

The Justice Ministry on Thursday ordered 33 Brazilian businesses to suspend e-cigarette sales. They have 48 hours to comply or face daily fines of BRL 5,000 (USD 960). 

E-cigarettes have been banned in Brazil since 2009, but they can easily be bought in supermarkets, tobacconists, and online. The list of businesses in the decision includes supermarket giant Carrefour, which owns over 1,000 stores across Brazil, accounting for over 25 percent of the retail market.

In July, federal health regulator Anvisa voted to uphold the country’s e-cigarette ban.

A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the global tobacco epidemic warns of the dangers of e-cigarettes acting as a “gateway” for young people to take up other forms of nicotine consumption, such as conventional cigarettes.

Polling data from April 2022 showed that 20 percent of Brazilians aged 18-24 vape. Smokers make up approximately 12 percent of the overall population.

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