More than 50 years passed for the tobacco industry to accept the evidence that tobacco affects health, endangers life and ends it.
Today, 20 years after Costa Rica ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and 10 after Law 9028 was approved, the country has made some progress.
However, we continue to have 1,274 people die each year due to tobacco and more than 16,000 people get sick from it.
In the National Anti-Tobacco Network (RENATA) -as a representative of organized civil society- we remain vigilant against the transgression by the tobacco industry, which with its economic power manages to permeate, convince and add awareness, penetrating different spheres of power and taking of decisions in the country.
Some of the challenges we face today include the following:
• The Joint Commission against Illicit Trade in the Ministry of Finance that establishes public policies where organizations that represent the interests of the tobacco industry such as the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica, the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Sector participate with voice and vote. Private Business (UCCAEP) and the Costa Rican-North American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham)
• The absence of the regulations of Law 10066, after almost two years of its promulgation, despite the fact that it orders the Executive Branch in its article 18 to establish its regulations within a period of three months.
• The widespread advertising of vaporizers that is maintained freely, with few controls by the Ministry of Health, as established by Law 9028 and its regulations.
• A few deputies who do not defend the public health of the population despite the fact that the country spends more than ¢300,000 million on caring for those sick with smoking.
That is why, respectfully, I request the Ministry of Health: a) Present without further ado the regulations of Law 10066. b) Enforce the prohibitions on cigarette advertising, SEAN and SSSN. And c) Support Bill 22497 on plain packaging by asking the Presidency of the Republic during this extraordinary period of legislative sessions to put it on the agenda.