The project to draft a bill on to regulate tobacco consumption first began in 2011. By the time it actually becomes law in Belize it will would have been nearly a decade for work on the bill. So what has been the hold up? Well according to the NDACC director they are trying to have electronic cigars also regularized as well. This product found its way to Belize last year, and trend seems to be picking up. The product was presented as a less harmful substitute for the traditional cigars. But not everything is as it seems according to NDACC director.
Esnor Vellos, Director of NDACC, MOH
"It is advertised as being a product that can assist to help and individual to reduce the consumption of traditional tobacco, that it's not addictive, that it taste nice, it's this and that. But the reality is and studies from the Pan American Health Organization have indicated that the consumption of e-cigarette is as harmful as or more harmful than the consumption of regular tobacco. So that's something that we really need to make sure that that we carry across specifically to our young people because that the community in our country that is more vulnerable and because a lot of young people want to be cool and they see that puffing a e-cigarette or vapor cigars that will fall and fit within the standards of cultural acceptance. But that is not necessarily the case. At the end of the day e-cigarettes and vapor cigarettes do contain almost the same or more amount of the 4000 chemicals that cigarettes contains and that's the reason why we want to make sure that we will be able to establish a very elaborate pattern in terms of marketing strategies through plain packaging."