Costa Rica – New tobacco control act adopted

On 27 February 2012 the Costa Rican parliament adopted a new tobacco-control act that replaces legislation in force since 1995, with a view to ensuring implementation of the WHO FCTC. The new act introduces strong tobacco-control measures such as:
- a complete ban on smoking in all workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars;
- increasing the size of health warnings, so that they occupy 50% of principal display areas of packages;
- including pictures and pictograms in health warnings;
- banning all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
- banning the sale of tobacco products to and by minors;
- banning sales of cigarettes in packages of less than 20 pieces and through vending machines; and
- calling for educational and research programmes.

The law also regulates monitoring and enforcement, including sanctions for non-compliance.

More information may be obtained from Dr Roberto Castro Córdoba, Ministry of Health (rcastroc@ministeriodesalud.go.cr or rocastro@racsa.co.cr).

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