Costa Rica Raises $80 Million Through Cigarette TaxThe Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The government of Costa Rica has collected about 40,000 million colones ($80 million) in 2013 for the current cigarette tax since last year as part of a smoking ban.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Sisy Castillo, said that of those 80 million, the Ministry of Health received about 15 million, and the rest went to other institutions such as the Costa Rican Social Security Institute, and Costa Rican Sports and Recreation.

According to the Ministry of Health, this year they used the money in programs against smoking and for the purchase of 95 vehicles that will be used to enforce the smoking ban.

In March 2013, Costa Rica enacted the “General Snuff Control Act” so that the country complied with the framework agreement for the control of snuff from the World Health Organization.

The law prohibits smoking in public spaces and places like bars, clubs, restaurants and shopping centers and it created a tax of 20 colones ($0.04) per cigarette.

The law prohibits all forms of advertising of snuff and requires tobacco companies to post warnings on cigarette packs that cover 50% of the principal panel and 100% of the side by June.

In Costa Rica, a country of 4.7 million, it is estimated that there are about 434,000 active smokers, of which 297,000 are men and 137,000 women, according to the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (IAFA)

Moreover, data from the Costa Rican Social Security indicates that in 2012, more than $152 million was invested in the care of patients with diseases attributed to snuff. (EFE)

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose Costa Rica