Brazil’s justice ministry last week ordered 32 retailers in the country to cease selling vaping products or face stiff daily fines. The companies were given 48 hours to comply.
The order was published in the country’s Official Gazette Sept. 1. The retailers are subject to daily fines of 5,000 Brazilian reals (about $969 U.S.) if they ignore the justice ministry’s order.
The threat came less than two months after the country’s food and drug regulator Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA) confirmed its position that the country should maintain the existing prohibition on vaping products.
Brazil adopted a vape ban in 2009, but the rules are regularly ignored, with vapes widely available both in stores and online. Apparently even major retail outlets flout the country’s rules. According to The Brazilian Report, one of the companies named in the justice ministry’s order is French-owned Carrefour, which operates the largest supermarket chain in Brazil with over 1,000 stores.
The Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security issued a press release Sept. 1, describing the action as a “precautionary measure.” According to the release, the country’s consumer agency SENACON “assessed the need to take urgent measures to remedy the problem and protect the health and safety of consumers.”
About 20 million Brazilians smoke cigarettes, which are legal to sell. Brazil is the second-largest tobacco producing country (after China) in the world.