• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica’s Social Security System is going to text you to stop smoking

January 22, 2014

Costa Rica’s Social Security System, or the Caja, wants to reduce the number of people who smoke, as well as the high costs public hospitals incur in treating patients with tobacco-related illness.

In 2013, the Caja spent almost ₡90 billion ($179 million) on treating patients with smoking-related cardiovascular disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death in Costa Rica, according to a Caja report released Wednesday.

Caja Medical Director María Villalta Bonilla said the anti-smoking campaign includes distributing information and promoting recreational activities.

“Most of (the campaign) targets young people, who are the most vulnerable population,” she said.

The five-year initiative includes ads in national media and on mobile platforms, and sports and arts activities in schools. Suggested activities include drama, music and dance clubs, among others, Villalta said.

The Caja this month launched the campaign, which will be paid for by taxes and fines from the country’s anti-smoking law, by sending short text messages to mobile phones and posting them on social media.

In 2012, President Laura Chinchilla signed a law banning smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants, public buildings, bus stops and taxi stands.

A survey by the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Institute that year estimated the number of smokers in Costa Rica at 480,000 people, mostly men over 20. On average, 10 people die every day from tobacco-related diseases, the Caja claims.

You may be interested

Official communication: Costa Rica’s land borders remain closed
Costa Rica
2789 views
Costa Rica
2789 views

Official communication: Costa Rica’s land borders remain closed

The Tico Times - February 26, 2021

As we first reported earlier this week, Costa Rica's land borders will remain restricted until at least April. Throughout March,…

Amazon Web Services opens new Costa Rica office
Costa Rica
3512 views
Costa Rica
3512 views

Amazon Web Services opens new Costa Rica office

Alejandro Zúñiga - February 25, 2021

Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., on Thursday opened a new office in Costa Rica to support the…

Costa Rica aims for urban natural parks to improve wellness in cities
Costa Rica
2607 views
Costa Rica
2607 views

Costa Rica aims for urban natural parks to improve wellness in cities

The Tico Times - February 25, 2021

The Costa Rican government this week issued a decree creating a new type of park within the framework of the…