Data on smokers to be released today

The health ministry is expected to make public today the results of a nationwide survey of tobacco use.

The ministry last did a survey in 2010 that showed 24.8 percent of men and women between 12 and 70 used tobacco. The percentage this year is expected to be lower.

In years past some 50 percent of Costa Rican men used tobacco, according to the figures from the Ministerio de Salud. The reduction in use is attributed to campaigns by the ministry and the increased awareness among members of the public of the dangers of tobacco use.

The survey report comes at a time of worldwide efforts to eliminate smoking.

For example, this week in Australia the first large-scale, direct evidence on smoking and mortality showed up to 1.8 million of the 2.7 million smokers will die from their habit if they continue to smoke. That is a report from the Sax Institute.

The research, just published in the international journal BMC Medicine, is an important reminder that the war on tobacco is not yet won, and Australia’s world-leading efforts in tobacco control must go on, said Sax.

Costa Rica has signed an international convention designed to reduce smoking through campaigns and legal efforts.

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