First Confirmed Case of Underage E-cigarette Related Lung Disease in Costa Rica

First Confirmed Case of Underage E-cigarette Related Lung Disease in Costa Rica


Costa Rica reports its first confirmed case of a minor with e-cigarette related lung disease, raising concerns over its safety.

According to a report on November 15 from CNN Spain, the Social Security Fund of Costa Rica (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) has recently issued a statement confirming the country’s first case of an e-cigarette related lung disease in a minor.

According to a report by the organization, a 16-year-old minor has been using e-cigarettes without supervision on a regular basis. As a result, the individual had to spend 29 days in the intensive care unit for treatment, during which mechanical ventilation and intubation were necessary. The organization highlights this case to remind the public once again that e-cigarettes are not harmless and are not a smoking cessation method, as they can potentially be fatal.

According to the institution’s statistics, the number of cases related to e-cigarette-associated illnesses in the Costa Rican public healthcare system has risen significantly, from 13 cases in the entire year of 2021 to 857 cases in the first half of 2023. The majority of these cases are reported from clinics in the central region of the country.

In addition, the results of the 2021 National Survey on the Consumption of Psychotropic Substances among the population of secondary education, published by the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (IAFA) in Costa Rica, reveal a significant increase in the proportion of students who have experimented with nicotine or e-cigarette products, reaching 13.1%. This percentage is nearly triple the findings from the previous survey conducted in 2018 (4.6%).

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