New stadium will be a smoke-free zone, ministry says

he world is closing in on smokers.

The Ministerio de Salud said Monday that smoking would be prohibited in the new national stadium in La Sabana.

Private companies are also trying to accommodate non-smokers. Budget Car Rental has developed a new policy of providing cars that are smoke free. Hotels have been doing the same for years.

The health ministry also applied an environmental touch to the announcement and reported that to produce 300 cigarettes requires cutting a tree and that nine million acres of forest are used each year for cigarettes.

The stadium is expected to go into use next week with a soccer game between the Costa Rican national team and that of Argentina.

The announcement of the smoking ban came from María Luisa Ávila, the health minister. The ban was accepted by
the Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y la Recreación, said an announcement.

The ministry coupled its announcement with a recitation of all the ills that come from tobacco.

There was no mention if the ban also would cover snuff.

Budget said in an announcement that its policy of providing cars that had not been used by smokers was part of a larger carbon offset program.

Budget is asking each driver who rents a car to contribute $1 to offset the impact of carbon dioxide emissions. The company said it would be the first car rental agency in Costa Rica to finance a reforestation project as part of the mitigation of carbon dioxide.

The company said its customers use more than 225,000 gallons of fuel each year and a non-profit organization has calculated the carbon dioxide emissions. The company is supporting a reforestation project in El Carmen de Parrita where there are nearly 40,000 protected trees.

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