Sunday, December 30, 2012

SMOKING LAWS in Costa Rica & Where IS Smoking Allowed and Not

As of October 2012, Costa Rica finally has joined the ranks of many other countries in creating some tight Anti-Smoking laws (YEAHHH!!!)!!!!

THE ANTI-SMOKING LAW
Ley General de Control del Tabaco y sus Efectos Nocivos en la Salud



WHAT IS BANNED?
Smoking in public of products containing Nicotiana Tabacum - aka Cultivated Tobacco.



WHAT AREAS ARE BANNED:
 Smoking of ALL tobacco products are now banned in ALL public places* - including bars, cafes, restaurants, clubs, the workplace, bus stops, taxi stands, elevators, trains, ATM's, shopping centers and hotel common grounds.


FINES:
PEOPLE - CAUGHT SMOKING IN RESTRICTED AREAS:   
36,600-colones/$73ish

BUSINESSES - PERMITTING CUSTOMERS TO SMOKE IN RESTRICTED AREAS
54,900-colones/$110ish


*NOT BANNED
On the streets (except taxi stands and bus stops) and Beaches.


OTHER PARTS OF THE LAW
It looks like it also bans selling individual cigarettes or anything less than a full pack•cajetilla that has 20 cigarettes
(the fine for someone selling anything less is 36,000-colones/$72ish!)

Cigarette packs and advertising displays MUST display text and photo warnings on the dangers of smoking on at least 50% of the box.
(I LOVE this as it was in the '60's when the U.S. Surgeon General came out with this law that got my mom to quit smoking - saying she had no right to tell us not to smoke if she was doing it!!  CONSCIOUS Parenting!!!)

Advertising on billboards, events and promotions now have some sort of regulations but I have not found yet what that means.


TAX INCREASE
Taxes increased 20-colones/.04¢-ish per cigarette


WHERE DOES THE TAX MONEY GO?:
60% goes towards Social Security System to treat tobacco-related illnesses and create programs to help smokers quit!



NOT BANNED:
Electronic cigarettes • e-Cigarette • eCig • Personal Vaporizer or PVs
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_cigarette
They are an electronic inhaler that vaporizes a mixed propylene glycol- and vegetable-based Glycerol-based liquid solution into an aerosol mist, simulating the act of tobacco smoking by producing an inhaled vapor bearing the physical sensation, appearance, and often the flavor and nicotine content of inhaled tobacco smoke, without its odor or, ostensibly, its health risks. The device uses heat (or in some cases, ultrasonics) to vaporize a propylene glycol- or glycerin-based liquid solution into an aerosol mist, similar to the way a nebulizer or humidifier vaporizes solutions for inhalation.


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NEED TO SMOKE?
There are still OPTIONS!!

OPTIONS:
9 Degrees North • 9°N

Costa Rica’s Only Private Cigar Lounge
which allows guests to be able to smoke - and some of the best tobacco imports at that!

The way they've gotten around the No-Smoking law is they are a Private Club
(though the general public is welcome with a $5 admission fee)

9 Degrees North • 9°N has an exclusive selection of premium liquors, champagnes, and cigars from around the world to an elegantly styled lounge. 
Each table even has an iPads on it.

CIGARS
Trinidad, H. Upmann, Arturo Fuente, Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, and Punch.

DRINKS
Tico Oro, Escazu Iced Tea, Rica Libre, Warm Night in Viejo, Long Kiss Goodnight, or the margarita called Ticarita. Another must try is the Arenal Eruption- a mix of rum with tropical fruit juices.

SPECIALS
Wednesday
FREE Whiskey with Cigar Purchase

Thursday - 6-9pm
Ladies Night - Free Sangria & Wine Tasting

Friday-Saturday - 7-10pm
LIVE ACOUSTIC Music

Happy Hour
Daily 4-7pm - 50% off all drinks and $2.50 CRCB Draft beers

CIGAR of the MONTH CLUB

MEMBERSHIP
*VIP  -  $500/year
Standard Annual  -  $250
Month  -  $25
Day Pass - $2

*VIP MEMBERSHIP
VIP Members receive their own Exclusive Private Humidors where they can store Cigar Boxes, Individual Cigars, Lighters, Bottles of Liquor/Wine, or anything else. Only they have the key and the staff maintains it for them.
Members will also have early access to exclusive events, promotions, and specials provided by local businesses exclusively for 9°North

HOURS:
Daily  -  11am-12/midnight

LOCATION:
Escazu (San Rafael) - Plaza el Cortijo #6 - el Cortijo Condos Laureles - on

9n.cr   •   facebook.com/pages/9N-Cigar-Lounge/231367690324165   •   2-588-2913  


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MUNDO de lost PUROS
The World of Cigars is a perfect place to relax, share with friends, discuss business and enjoy the art of smoking a good cigar.  We are distributors of the most recognized brands in the world of snuff, and accessories.

LOCATION:
Escazu (San Rafael) - Plaza Colonial

facebook.com/MundoDeLosPuros   •   MundoDeLosPuros.com  •  2-289-9167


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WARNING!!!   
FAKE CIGARS - ESPECIALLY "Cuban's"
Sadly, there seem to be MANY places around Costa Rica selling fake cigars - especially Cubans!!  I hear the biggest proliferation seemed to be 5-packs of Montecristo #4's, plus Cohibas and Romeo Y Julitas as well.
These are OFTEN found in Tourist and Souvenir shops.

With that said - here's where you can buy REAL cigars - many made in Costa Rica, Nicaragua (I hear that Cuba has even sent some seeds over to Nicaragua and they're EXCELLENT and they are growing them on such places as Isla Ometepe and Granada!!!)



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WHERE TO BUY CIGARS
(some even CUBANS!!!)



VEGAS SANTIAGO "MADE IN COSTA RICA CIGARS"
(VegasSantiago.com/factory.htm  •   8-815-4304  •  2-458 - 3179  •  VegasSan@gmail.com)  
MANUFACTURERS of premium cigars in Costa Rica.  I hear their special "Signature Brand" of Cigar Tobacco is "touched by the Gods" ... because it is grown with the "Secrets of the Shaman" from  the rainforests of Costa Rica.
LANGUAGES:
English, German, French 

LOCATION:
Puriscal




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DON BENIGNO "MADE IN COSTA RICA CIGARS"
Don Benigno Cigars - MADE IN COSTA RICA, plus a large selection of national and international cigars (guaranteed 100% genuine and kept in prime conditions), as well as lighters, cutters, and other smoking related souvenirs and gifts.
HOURS:  
Monday to Saturday - 10am - 7pm.  Sunday - 10am to 6pm
LOCATION:  
Pavas - Commercial Center Plaza Mayor, Stage 2
(BenignoCigars.com/plaza_mayor_costa_rica  •  2-296-8111  •  



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Isthmus Cigars
Made in Costa Rica (base), Nicaragua and Honduras
(facebook.com/pages/Isthmus-Cigars/191335999771  •  IsthmusCigars.com  •  KurtBrandt@IsthmusCigars.com)




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There at least USED to be a Cigar Lounge at the
White House up in San Antonio de ESCAZU
(now called Grand Tara).
I'm looking into this
2288-6362


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Hotel Little Havana
Cigar Bar and Walk-in Humidor (and hotel [lets just say it’s not a “family hotel”!!])


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Smoking Club in San Pedro
2-224-5227
(I'm not positive if they are still in business as the listing I had was dated back in the late 2000s)


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"Bar La Castilla" in the Marriot Hotel in San Antonio de Belen
??




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CIGARS FROM 
NICARAGUA
vs 
CUBA!!!!


I hear THE HOTTEST CIGARS in the WORLD these days - even surpassing Cuban Cigars - AND winning MANY awards are coming from
NICARAGUA
When I was on Isla Ometepe in the middle of Lake Nicaragua we visited one of the main farms providing tobacco leaves to
Padron.com
Their Padron 1926 is supposed to be SUPERB!!!  



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TIPS FOR BRINGING YOUR CIGARS BACK TO THE U.S.



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This is a good thing since Bringing back to the U.S. - heck - or even Smoking
CUBAN CIGARS
are 
HIGHLY ILLEGAL
for 
AMERICANS
EVEN if you're traveling in another country!!!

Now, I think this law is BEYOND ASININE
BUT - I'm going to give you the warning anyways (both to cover my tush for printing ANYTHING about Cuban Cigars [OHHH MY - SINFUL!!!])

THE U.S. LAW
Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515, (Revised September 30, 2004) are administered and enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Criminal penalties for violation of the Regulations can go as high as $1 million for corporations, and
$250,000 for individuals + up to 10 years in prison
In addition, 
Civil penalties of up to $65,000 per violation can be imposed by OFAC.


Here's a GOOD site for more details on it:
Cigars.about.com/od/cubantradeembargo/qt/0062002a.htm



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