Smoking Ban Is Now Active!

The president Laura Chinchilla signed the smoking ban prohibiting smoking in public places, following the endorsement she received from the Sala IV.

With this, the new regulations are being announced in the Gazette and the development of regulations by the Ministry of Health.

The law does not allow smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces, bus stops, taxis, trains, eliminating the sale of loose cigarettes and generates a tax of 20¢ per cigarette, so the pack will cost 400 colones more.

Moreover, those who smoke in prohibited areas in the law are exposed to a fine of 36 000 colones and packs should have information about the risks of smoking.

The Ministry of Health needs to strengthen its staff and attend to the security forces to ensure compliance with restrictions on smoking.

President Chinchilla recognized that the main challenge is the issue of enforcement and penalties.

Chinchilla said that promote drastic measures because “any law can not cover 100% of offenders.”

The new cigarette tax will fund the care of smoking-related diseases in the Costa Rican Social Security Institute’s programs on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence,IAFA.

The signing took place at the Presidential House, accompanied by deputies, who acknowledged the difficulty of collecting penalties for smoking and call for a change of attitude among the citizens.

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