Cigarette smoking is coming under pressure on two fronts

Smokers are being targeted with two programs.

In the legislature the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Sociales approved a request Tuesday to ask the executive branch to include an existing anti-smoking law on its agenda. During this period of the legislature, the executive branch determined what laws can be considered.

Victor Hernández Cerdas of the Partido Acción Ciudadana said that he knew the proposal was controversial but that the Caja Costarricense the Seguro Social spends vast sums treating patients who have chronic illnesses due to the use of cigarettes.

The central offices of the Caja itself has been honored with maintaining a workplace that is smoke-free. The Instituto
de Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia is awarding the certification.

Also being certified is the Centro de Desarrollo Social, located in Barrio Vasconia. Hospital San Juan de Dios also has been certified.

Being certified means that the institutions will help employes who smoke kick the habit and also maintain smoke-free workplaces.

The Caja reported that it spends 58 billion colons a year (more than $100 million) treating patients with diseases attributed to tobacco. Some 50 percent of the deaths registered in Costa Rica are produced by diseases attributed to tobacco, it said.

These include tumors and cardiovascular illnesses.

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