Government collects almost $20,000 in fines for smoking
In a little more than a year since a new smoking ban in public places took effect, the Health Ministry has collected nearly ₡10 million (some $20,000) in fines to be allocated to its anti-smoking campaign.
Last week the Health Ministry collected ₡7 million ($14,000) for just two violations of the anti-smoking law.
Health officials have issued 24 fines from 150 complaints since the law was adopted last year, mostly for smoking in prohibited areas and for advertising that violates the law.
Last week a communications consultancy firm in Escazú, southwest of San José, was fined ₡3.6 million ($7,200) after a complaint was filed for smoking in public areas.
The British American Tobacco company also paid a similar amount after launching a two-for-one promotion of cigarettes, which also offered a trip abroad. The law that entered into effect in March 2012 forbids promotions aimed at increasing consumption.
After various appeals, the company paid the fine but refused to admit they had violated the law. The company said it would appeal to higher courts.
The Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) last month said it would ask the government to modify the law to allow designated smoking in certain areas, as the chamber says hotels, restaurants and casinos have seen a 25 percent drop in business during the law’s first year of implementation.
You may be interested
Google recognizes Independence Day with Costa Rican flagThe Tico Times - September 15, 2019
The search engine giant is recognizing Costa Rica with a Google doodle honoring today's holiday. Today, in honor of Independence…
Costa Rica celebrates Independence DayThe Tico Times - September 15, 2019
Happy Independence Day from all of us at The Tico Times! Today, Costa Rica celebrates 198 years of independence. It's…
Watch: Keylor Navas makes big save, posts clean sheet in PSG debutAlejandro Zúñiga - September 14, 2019
Keylor Navas posted a clean sheet as part of an impressive debut with PSG on Saturday. The Costa Rican goalkeeper…