Caja planning big campaign to keep young from smoking

Now would be a good time to quit smoking because the health agency plans to start a five-year anti-smoking campaign today.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said Monday that it would outline plans for the campaign today. The special target is the young, it said.

The Caja operates the nation’s hospitals so it is fully aware of the human and financial cost of smoking. It said that smoking contributes to 50 percent of the deaths in Costa Rica.

The campaign will dovetail with what the health ministry is doing, based on approval of an international convention against smoking.

The Caja is expected to adopt an educational approach while the health ministry already has engineered prohibitions on smoking in public places and an increase in the cigarette tax. More efforts are coming, according to legislation that already has been past.

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