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Wednesday 29 February 2012 | Costa Rica News. News on Costa Rica continually updated.

Costa Rica's Smoking Ban Won't Take Effect For Months

Although its butts out in Costa Rica with approval of the Ley Antitabco on Monday, it will be months before we can see the effect of the law.

The law requires the government to emit regulations to the law and develop measures for enforcement within the coming 90 days.

Sources close to Inside Costa Rica advise that the government policy will likely include giving bars and restaurants, for example, as well as manufacturers, distributors and vendors of cigarette time to adapt to the measures.

Thus, the first effects of the new law and regulations may not be felt until at least August.

This situation, the effect of a law and the time lag to publish regulations, is common in Costa Rica as typically the executive branch does work simultaneous with legislators in development "normativas" while a bill continues in the process of approval. 

A more recent example is the tax on corporations, where the law calls for the tax to be paid in the first month (January) of each year, but this year - the first year - it does apply until April to allow the government, you guessed it, to set out the regulations.

The new law bans smoking in all public places, includes bus terminals, as well as the workplace and includes heavy fines for breaches.

In addition, under the new law, each cigarette will be taxed a ˘20 colones per unit, increasing the cost of a 20 cigarette pack by ˘400 colones.






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