Sunday is part of Caja no-smoking campaign
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The nation's health professionals are organizing a march, called a caminata, against tobacco for
Sunday as part of a campaign against smoking.
The campaign includes radio spots by those who suffer from illnesses
caused by smoking. These start today. The campaign is a preparation for
the World Day against Tobacco, which is a week from today.
The march Sunday kicks off at 8 a.m. and ends on Avenida 4 to the main
office of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
The Caja said it expects physicians, nurses, technicians and former
smokers to join the march against what it calls an addiction that can
cause two of the illnesses that cause 50 percent of the country's
deaths each year, cancer and cirulatory problems.
Costa Rica has passed a tough anti-smoking law and has signed on to an
international treaty against tobacco. But the various health agencies
are not backing off the effort to eliminate smoking.
The radio spots will be 60 seconds each and present personal stories of
smokers and some who have quit through the Caja's stop-smoking clinics,
said an announcement.
Monday, workers at the Caja will be invited to see a 10 a.m.
videoconference that addresses strategies for prevention and
intervention to stop smoking, said the Caja.
The Caja notes that smoking is one of the principal causes of death in
the world and that more than
1 billion people smoke. Internationally, the World Health Organization
is leading a crusade against what it says is one of the principal forms
of drug addition.
The new anti-smoking legislation basically forbids smoking in offices
and many public places. This is why there usually are clusters of
smokers on the sidewalks outside office buildings and other workplaces.
The legislation also forbids tobacco advertising and the sponsorship of
public events by tobacco companies.
Cosponsoring the walk Sunday is the Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y
Farmacodependencia. The event starts at the central offices of the
Institute in Barrio la Granje in San Pedro.
Ironically, Costa Rica is a famed manufacturer of cigars that equal
some of the better Cuban varieties.
in business perception blamed on utility prices
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The business community's perception of the future is off slightly,
according to a survey reflecting opinions in the first three months of
the year. And part of the concern is the soaring rate of regulated
utilities, according to the chamber that has been taking the survey for
the last 17 years.
The survey of 499 firms reported the average confidence to be 5.3 on a
10-point scale, six-tenths of a point lower than the same period in
2012, said the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y
Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado.
The chamber also said that business leaders were also anxious of the
slow pace of approval of the trade accord between Central America and
the European Union. Costa Rican lawmakers have passed the agreement for
the first time, but the final vote is awaiting an opinion by the Sala
IV constitutional court, the chamber noted.
community's confidence level remained at 6,7, according to the survey
The chamber in its interpretation of the results said that the price of
electricity has increased 42 percent and water has gone up 58 percent.
It said that an index of prices of services regulated by the Autoridad
Reguladora de Servicios Públicos has gone up 16 percent in the
last 12 months while unregulated prices have increased just 3.73
percent. Both electrical power and water markets are dominated by
The chamber called upon the legislature to pass a proposal that would
allow private generation of electricity, mainly from renewable sources.
The chamber also called on the Autoridad to revise its methodology that
is used to compute the prices of regulated utilities.