Brazil’s Ministry of Justice instructed 33 businesses to stop selling e-cigarettes or risk a penalty of BRL5,000 ($966.65) per day, according to the The Brazilian Report.
E-cigarettes have been banned in Brazil since 2009, but they remain readily available online, at tobacconists and in supermarkets.
One of the companies targeted by the ministry is France-based Carrefour, one of the world’s largest retailers, which owns more than 1,000 stores in Brazil and accounts for 25 percent of the domestic retail market.
In July this year, Brazil’s national health surveillance agency, Anvisa, voted to uphold the ban on e-cigarettes, citing studies showing that the use of electronic smoking devices increases the risk of smoking in young people, the potential for dependence and the likelihood of lung, cardiovascular and neurological health problems.
Around 20 percent of Brazilians aged 18-24 vape, while smokers make up approximately 12 percent of the population, according to April 2022 polling data.