Tuesday 27 March 2012
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Costa Rica's Ban On Smoking Now In Effect

The Ley Antitabaco (anti-smoking la), whose full name is the Ley General de Control del Tabaco y sus Efectos Nocivos en la Salud, was published Monday in La Gaceta and as of today is in effect. However, don't expect for it to be enforced for a few months as the government, mainly the Ministerio de Salud, enacts regulations.

Presidenta Signs Ley Antitabaco

Costa Rica Lawmakers Recognize Impossibility of Collecting On Antismoking Ban Fines

Constitutional Court Confirms Smoking Ban

Antismoking Bill Going Up In Smoke?

Presidenta Laura Chinchilla signed the approved bill last Thursday and all that was left for it to take effect was its publication in the official government publication.

The anti-smoking imposes a ban all smoking of tobacco products in all public places, including bars, restaurants, clubs, the workplace, bus stops, taxi stands, etc.

The law also imposes a ˘20 colones tax on every cigarette and bans the sale of anything but a full pack of 20. In effect, the practice of selling one cigarette, common on the streets of downtown San José and bars, will now be sanctioned with a fine of ˘36.000 colones (around us$72).

The law also imposes restrictions on the distribution and advertising of tobacco products, where manufacturers must place a warning on at least 50% of a "cajetilla" (pack of cigarettes) on the dangers of smoking. Advertising on billsboards, events and promotions will also be regulated.


Ley bans the smoking in public of products containing Nicotiana tabacum, or cultivated tobacco.

Not included in the ban are electronic cigarettes, an alternative to smoking tobacco.

An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, also known as an ecig, is an electrical device that simulates the act of tobacco smoking by producing an inhaled vapor bearing the physical sensation, appearance, and often the flavor and nicotine content of inhaled tobacco smoke, without its odor or, ostensibly, its health risks. The device uses heat (or in some cases, ultrasonics) to vaporize a propylene glycol- or glycerin-based liquid solution into an aerosol mist, similar to the way a nebulizer or humidifier vaporizes solutions for inhalation.



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