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Costa Rica Is Fighting Against Tobacco and its Effects on Public Health

TobaccoIn 2012, Costa Rican Government signed and implemented Law 9028, commonly known as Anti-Tobacco Law. Since its implementation, one person per day has been sanctioned for non-compliance with the law. According to the Health Ministry, they are sanctioning both, individuals and companies.

Health Ministry indicates that over 1,000 people have been charged with penalty fees as high as $8,000. Although this higher fees are not as common today as they were at the beginning.

One of the main goals that this law was trying to reach, was to protect non-smokers from the negative effects of cigarette smoke, and that is being accomplished. In this regard, people can report public transportation operators, such as taxi and bus drivers, for non-compliance through the Health Ministry website ( and local Ministry offices all throughout the country.

Anyone who doesn´t comply with the Anti-tobacco law, will be charged about $80 and the penalty will stay in the individual´s record for up to 4 years.

Another advantages of this law is that the new taxes on tobacco products, allow the government to have additional resources to implement new and better control and prevention programs on tobacco uses. It prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors under 18 years of age. It forbids the selling of tobacco products on certain business types. Also, it prohibits publicity of tobacco products and brands, and forced all the tobacco producers to change the packaging on all of their products.

In less than five years, there are less cigarettes being sold in Costa Rica. Also, the amount of adult smokers from almost 500,000 in 2014 to around 300,000 in 2015. Additionally, the government is trying to reduce the amount spend on the treatment of diseases caused by cigarette smoke. In 2014, the Costa Rican medical authority spend over $127 million.

Original article taken from La Prensa Libre.

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