What is the regulation on vaping in Costa Rica

If you are planning a little trip to a tropical paradise, you may have considered Costa Rica on the list of great destinations.  If you are a smoker, be advised that smoking is now banned.  Smoking in public places is not allowed and taxes for cigarettes has gone through the roof.  Sounds like a great place to vape right? Unfortunately, no there are a few regulations in Costa Rica you should be aware of if you are heading on vacation.

First things first, vaping itself is not strictly illegal.  It is not exactly seen with a welcoming view, especially when it comes to law enforcement.  In the states, the industry is booming, but for Costa Rica, finding a legal distributor will be a difficult task.  If you are going on vacation here, make sure to keep everything disassembled through transport and only vape in well vented, nonpublic areas.  Be prepared to explain yourself, you may get questions from the local law.

While vaping is not prohibited, the sales, distribution, marketing, and advertising for tobacco and tobacco related products are facing heavy sanctions.  Not only are their fines and higher prices, manufacturers have to place warning labels on at least 50% of the external packaging.  Unfortunately, vaping is not a regulated industry, and therefore, some of these tariffs are simply impossible to meet.  Good luck finding a legal vendor that carries vaping products.

Most citizens and law enforcement are going to view vaping with a just because you can, doesn’t mean you should mentality.  If you do get questions, explain what it is and move on.  Try not to be overly conspicuous about what you are doing.  The law specifically calls attention to bars, restaurants, clubs, workplaces, and bus stops.  Again, you will not be detained, but you may find some vocal resistance from people who may not be fully aware of what vaping is.

The best advice for going to Costa Rica with a vape is to come prepared.  Know what you are getting into, know the laws, and know your equipment.  Again, you will not find many vendors or manufacturers, so prepare accordingly.  Make sure you take extra parts such as coils and batteries, as you will likely not find a store that carries them.  Above all, keep your juice separate and bring how much you want on the trip, you likely will not be finding a place to refill on your vacation.

Costa Rica along with a few other countries has adopted a strict outlook on cigarettes and the health risks associated with them.  Vaping is excluded in the ban, but make sure to prepare accordingly.  Take what you need on the trip with you, make sure it is disassembled and packaged.  Be prepared to explain yourself going through customs and you should be good.  Other than that, try not to stand out while you are doing it and nobody is going to bother you.  Of course, you may just want to find another vacation spot.

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  1. With all due respect, I think this entry is misleading. Vaping in Costa Rica is not so unusual. Thousands of local people vape. Also, there are dozens of vape shops, not only in San José, but also in almost all major cities in provinces (Liberia, Limón, San Ramón, Pérez Zeledón, Guápiles, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Turrialba, just to name some. Of course, I agree you have to do it respectfully and following the same smoking rules, but that is common in almost all countries that allow vaping. In Costa Rica you can buy batteries (18650, 20700, 21700), mods, e-cigs, RDA and RTA atomizers… everything. This article makes it look like Costa Ricans would see you as some kind of “weird alien” for vaping, and that is not the case.

    1. Sorry you felt it was misleading. There certainly has been a rise on vaping in Costa Rica, no doubt about it. This was a guest post, we’ll be sure to make sure everyone here knows that our staff at SanJoseCostaRica.com is on board with the vaping.

    2. Hi, Edgar,
      I am not sure whether my supply of e-cig pods will last until my going back home. Is there a vape shop in Tamarindo or in the vicinity: Playa Flamingo, Playa Coco etc.
      Please advice,

  2. This article is wrong. I live in San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, in a neighborhood called San Pedro, home to the University of Costa Rica.

    There are three vape shops within a 15 minute walk from my apartment. One is on a street with two lanes of traffic in each direction, and they have a big sign that says CR Vapor.

    Just do a Google search for “vape shop San Jose Costa Rica” and see for yourself.

    It’s amazing that you would publish an article like this without bothering to fact check it.

    1. Hey Brian,

      You are 100% right. I bought this website when I moved to Costa Rica and as a former vape enthusiast, I know of the Viper Vapes brand and many others.

      I’ll be updating this guest sponsored content and get the facts straight. Thanks for the nudge.

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