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Costa Rica decreases tobacco consumption and production area

The number of households that report purchasing tobacco products decreases in the country. According to the National Household Income and Expenditure Survey (ENIGH), for the 2012-2013 period, 5.28% of the surveyed households reported acquiring cigarettes, with an average monthly expense of ¢ 17,035.13. On the other hand, in the ENIGH 2018-2019 the percentage of surveyed households that reported acquiring cigarettes decreased to 2.57%, however, the average monthly expenditure was recorded at around ¢ 23,519.36, so it is inferred that the Average monthly spending on tobacco acquisition increased in recent years.

These data were exposed in a virtual activity organized by the Observatory of Surveillance of Strategies and Interventions in Health for Compliance with Law No. 9028 (OVEIS) of the Ministry of Health. The OVEIS was created in order to monitor health strategies and interventions related to the management and enforcement of tobacco control regulations, and is a joint effort of the Health Surveillance Directorate of the Ministry of Health and the School of Public Health of the University of Costa Rica.

The work of OVEIS has made it possible to systematize the results on tobacco control and the degree of compliance that the related institutions make of the provisions contained in Law No. 9028. This work has made it possible to demonstrate:

Environment and tobacco

he year 2008, the extension of land dedicated to tobacco cultivation in our country has decreased considerably, from 50 hectares in 2008 to only 8 hectares in 2018. This decrease is directly reflected in the number of metric tons produced, the which went from 79 tons in 2008 to 16 tons in 2018.

Disminuye el número de hogares que adquieren productos de tabaco en el país

Health promotion, prevention and knowledge

Using information from the Institutional Planning Directorate of the MEP, it was possible to determine that during 2017, 12 programs for the prevention of the abuse of non-medicated drugs were implemented, in which tobacco use is addressed as one of its contents.

For 2018, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) executed a total of eight first and second cycle drug abuse prevention programs and nine third cycle and diversified education programs.

In both years, a coverage rate of over 85% was obtained. Regarding the programs applied in schools, they reached a coverage rate of 59% in both years.

Epidemiological Indicators

According to the World Survey of Smoking in Adults (GATS), for the year 2015 the prevalence of smokers was 8.9%, with 13.4% in men and 4.4% in women. Likewise, 58% of daily smokers are in urban areas while 42% are in rural areas.

Regarding Electronic Cigarettes, the GATS survey shows that by 2015 1.3% of the population used this type of device. The users are mostly men from urban areas.

Based on the information of the National Survey on Drug Use in the Population of Secondary Education (2019), for 2018 the average age of onset of tobacco use was 12.9 years for men and 13.3 years for the women.

Tobacco Economics

According to the National Household Income and Expenditure Survey of 2012 and 2013, 5.28% of the surveyed households reported acquiring cigarettes with an average monthly expense of ¢ 17,035.13. In the ENIGH 2018-2019 the percentage of surveyed households that reported acquiring cigarettes decreased to 2.57%, and the average expenditure was registered by ¢ 23,519.36.

If we take these amounts to the current value, that is, to the current year, ¢ 17,035.13 would be equivalent to ¢ 20,614.82, while ¢ 23,519.36 would be equal to 24,361.11, so it can be said that the average monthly expenditure acquisition of tobacco increased in recent years.

This post is also available in: Français (French) Español (Spanish)

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