QCOSTARICA – With 25 affirmative votes, it is approved in first debate a 20% tax on vapers and other accessories related to vaping.
The tax rate is lower than the previously proposed 40%, but it is not the first time that the proposal was modified since the start of the initiative.
“I am concerned because a motion was approved that reduced the tax from 40% to 20%, and I have received communications that point out the inconvenience of this reduction, with institutions concerned about the health effects of smoking; to discuss this issue we would have to provide data, beyond saying that taxes are bad,” said José María Villalta, legislators for the Frente Amplio.
The tax on vaping is intended to finance the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) in the purchase of drugs against diseases caused by these products.
In addition, the use of vaping devices is prohibited in public places where smoking with the traditional cigarette is already prohibited since otherwise, they are exposed to fines close to 10% of a base salary*.
Among other sanctions included the bill, half a base salary* is imposed on those who sell these products to minors.
The negative reactions within Congress regarding the progress of the project did not wait.
“All taxes affect economic growth and discourage consumption because they make the final price more expensive for the consumer, but we are also putting obstacles to those people who use this mechanism as a solution to stop smoking,” said legislator for the PUSC, María Inés Solís, on her Twitter account.
*A base salary is currently ¢462,200 colones