Panama E-cigarette Ban Overturned: Supreme Court Ruling

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    Panama’s Supreme Court has ruled Law No. 315, which prohibited the use, import, and sale of electronic cigarettes and similar devices, as unconstitutional. This pivotal judgment, proposed by Judge Olmedo Arrocha and unanimously passed, has significant ramifications for the e-cigarette industry and consumer rights in Panama.

    Unconstitutional Ruling by the Supreme Court

    On May 15th, the Supreme Court of Panama declared Law No. 315 unconstitutional, citing violations of Article 170 of the Constitution. This ruling stems from the legislation’s failure to meet constitutional requirements regarding approval and publication procedures.

    Constitutional Violation

    As stated in article 170 of the Constitution, it provides how the legislative process is to be followed, and at the same time, it is evident that in case some laws were rejected by the executive, it must be subjected to more debate then be approved by the National Assembly. The law court of appeal found that it was not sufficiently supported and accused parliament of manipulating the bill to an extreme level beyond its original proposal, which in the.

    Implications for the E-cigarette Industry

    Article 170 of the Constitution outlines the legislative process, stipulating that laws rejected by the executive branch must undergo further debate and approval by the National Assembly. The court found that Law No. 315 did not receive adequate support and accused the parliament of altering the bill beyond its original proposal, thus violating constitutional principles.

    Consumer Rights and Legal Procedures

    The Panamanian Association for Tobacco Harm Reduction (ARDTP) has lauded the court’s decision, viewing it as a victory for consumer rights and adherence to legal procedures. The ruling underscores the importance of upholding constitutional principles and ensuring fair legislative practices in shaping public policy.

    Anticipated Market Dynamics

    With the ban on electronic cigarettes set to be revoked, the e-cigarette market in Panama is poised for significant changes. Industry players and consumers alike await regulatory clarity and guidance as they navigate this transitional period, emphasizing the need for transparent and equitable regulatory frameworks.


    Panama’s Supreme Court’s declaration of Law No. 315 as unconstitutional marks a pivotal moment in the country’s regulatory landscape. As the ban on electronic cigarettes faces revocation, stakeholders must adapt to evolving market dynamics while upholding principles of consumer rights and legal procedures.