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Tobacco company wants overhaul of Costa Rica’s smoking ban

September 17, 2014

The British American Tobacco Company is taking advantage of a time frame for public consultation to ask for changes to an anti-smoking law adopted last March.

Felicio Ferraz, the tobacco company’s regional manager, said that smoking areas should be created, and current legislation does not specify where people can smoke. The company also called for the creation of outdoor areas for smokers in public places, restaurants and other businesses.

Ferraz added that advertising regulations should be more flexible, because “[lawmakers] are going too far in limiting the display of the product at retail points.”

Tobacco companies had no opportunity to present their position to lawmakers who approved the smoking ban, Ferraz said, and should therefore be granted access in talks over future revisions.

The public consultation on the new law runs through June 4, and approval of the final text is expected by June 26.

President Laura Chinchilla signed the “Control of Tobacco and its Harmful Effects on Health Bill” on March 22. The law bans smoking in restaurants, bars, casinos and other businesses, as well as at airports, and taxi and bus stands, among other areas.

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