Costa Rica News – The average pack of cigarettes costs about ¢1,600 in Costa Rica. Almost 70% of this cost goes to paying various types of taxes.
This high tax follows the World Health Organization’s recommendation to address the global smoking epidemic. Costa Rica is number 58 of 180 countries in terms of highest taxes on cigarettes, on a list made by the WHO.
The hope is that high taxes make cigarettes less accessible or at least make people think before buying them. The WHO’s general director said that raising the taxes is one of the most effective ways to reduce the use of these products that kill.
Costa Rica is heading in the right direction, banning smoking in public places and offering free clinics to help people quit smoking. Increasing taxes is another step.
France and China have also increased the taxes and in these countries the prevalence of smoking and related diseases has decreased.
Of course there is the argument that cigarette smuggling increases in such cases, but this depends more on the enforcement of other laws.