LANGUAGE

Costa Rica

Tobacco Control Policies

Costa Rica became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on November 19, 2008. 

Smoke Free Places: The Tobacco Control Law and its Regulations contain a list of places where smoking is prohibited. This is an extensive list that includes, all indoor workplaces and all public transport and virtually all indoor public places. Some outdoor places are also required to be smoke free, including outdoor workplaces; stadiums, arenas and venues with mass concentration of people; gas stations; and ports and public transit stops.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Almost all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are banned. There are two exemptions: 1) in adult-only venues and events that do not have smoke free space; and 2) through direct communication with vendors and adult consumers, conducted face to face and in the home.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Combined picture and text health warnings must occupy 50 percent of the two principal display areas (front and back) of tobacco product packages, placed on the lower portion of the pack, with different warnings on the front and back of the pack. A qualitative warning on constituents and emissions must appear on 100 percent of one lateral side. The authorized warnings must be rotated in such a way that they are distributed evenly across all tobacco product packaging. The Ministry of Health must update the authorized warnings annually. The contents of the warnings pertain to smoked tobacco products only, even though the law requires all tobacco product packaging to contain health warnings. Misleading terms such as “light” and “low” are prohibited on tobacco packaging, but other misleading packaging (e.g., colors, numbers, and symbols) is not prohibited.

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Costa Rica are well below these recommendations.   

Smoke-Free Environments - Complete Smoking Ban
  • Health-care facilities
  • Yes
  • Private offices
  • Yes
  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Yes
  • Public transport
  • Yes
  • Universities
  • Yes
  • Restaurants
  • Yes
  • Governmental facilities
  • Yes
  • Bars and pubs
  • Yes
  • Can subnational jurisdictions enact more stringent smoking restrictions?
  • Yes
Bans on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship
  • Domestic TV and radio
  • Yes
  • Promotional discounts
  • Yes
  • Domestic magazines and newspapers
  • Yes
  • Non-tobacco products or services with tobacco brand names
  • Yes
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Yes
  • Tobacco products with non-tobacco brand names
  • Yes
  • Point-of-sale advertising
  • Yes
  • Paid placement in media
  • Yes
  • Retail product display
  • Yes
  • Financial sponsorship, including corporate social responsibility
  • Yes
  • Internet advertising
  • Yes
  • Publicity of sponsorships
  • Yes
  • Free distribution
  • Yes
Health Warnings on Smoked Tobacco Products
  • Text warnings describe health impacts
  • Yes
  • Number of published warnings at any given time
  • 6 pairs
  • Warnings include a picture or graphic
  • Yes
  • Warnings required to rotate
  • Yes
  • % of principal display areas covered (front and back)
  • 50%
  • Warnings are written in the principal language(s)
  • Yes
  • Front
  • 50%
  • Ban on misleading packaging and labeling
  • Yes
  • Back
  • 50%
  • Health warnings on smokeless tobacco products
  • Yes
Tobacco Taxation and Price
  • PRICE OF MOST SOLD BRAND, PACK OF 20 CIGARETTES
  • TAXES ON MOST SOLD BRAND (% OF RETAIL PRICE)
  • In country currency
  • CRC
  • 1900.00
  • Total taxes
  • 55%
  • In US dollars
  • USD
  • 3.35
  • Total excise
  • 45%

Sources:

SF, APS, PL: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Legal Website. Available at: www.tobaccocontrollaws.org

Tax: WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2019. Available at: https://www.who.int/tobacco/global_report/en/

Last updated: March 24, 2021