Costa Rica will Host the 4th Latin American Conference Tobacco or Health Celebrating the Second Anniversary of the Application of Law Number 9028 for Tobacco Control

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The 4th Latin American and Caribbean Conference, organized by the InterAmerican Heart Foundation and the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica, will bring together the world's best scientists in Tobacco Control.

Costa Rica will celebrate the second anniversary of the application of the Anti Tobacco Law on March 26th, 2014 during the 4th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health.

The Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and the InterAmerican Heart Foundation organized the 4th Congress in San José, Costa Rica from 26 to 28 March 2014, along with the National Anti Tobacco Network (RENATA), the organization that struggled hard for the approval in the Costa Rican Congress for the General Law for Tobacco Control and its harmful effects to health.

The conference will bring together the best scientists in the world of tobacco control, treatment specialists, and advocates for smoke-free policies in order to share and apply the latest evidence, reinforce treatment protocols, research methods, and promote the continuous change in positive policies and implementation of control measures of Tobacco in Latin America.

"The approval process of the Control of Tobacco Law, was a long and difficult process, we fought against the special interests of some political parties and against the influence of the tobacco industry that permeated the political sphere. It was a struggle of David versus Goliath," as defined by Teresita Arrieta, member of RENATA.

The Costa Ricans received the law with joy, after the long way it had in the Congress. For Arrieta, “it came to satisfy an urgent need, and achieve, among other things: smoking prohibited in public places and workplaces, the prohibition in advertising, sponsorship, and promotions of tobacco products; and taxes to tobacco products with specific destination of the resources."

Two years after the adoption of the Law #9028 there is still no scientific evidence to expose the benefits that have resulted from the approval, but there are two major palpable, the decrease in the number of smokers (prevalence of use) and a low consumption levels, according to Arrieta.

"Costa Rica has one of the best worldwide laws in tobacco control, that is why in the next Latin American Congress, visitors can have a proof of it," said today the Minister of Health, Dr. Daysi Corrales.

Dr. Beatriz Champagne, Director of the InterAmerican Heart Foundation said, "The program of the 4th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health is timely, rigorous and action-oriented. Speakers will challenge the audience to give the final knock out to Tobacco."

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