Global Health News

During the fourth week in October, the Center for Global Health hosted a one-week International Technical Assistance and Exchange Program with a team of tobacco control experts from Costa Rica.

The event was designed to share the structure of tobacco control programs in Costa Rica and in New York, review monitoring/surveillance and evaluation, discuss current challenges and suggested approaches to address them, and explore whether current New York practices and tools could be helpful in the Costa Rican context.

Members of the Costa Rican delegation included Roberto Castro, MD, director of Epidemiology and coordinator of the Tobacco Control Program, Ministry of Health (MOH); Jeancarlo Cordova, MPH, faculty member at the Universidad de Costa Rica School of Public Health (UCRSPH), and Diego Montero, UCRSPH staff assigned to the MOH to support tobacco control efforts.

The agenda included sessions with the Tobacco Control Program/Division of Chronic Diseases at New York State Department of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Capital District Tobacco Free Communities, and a panel session at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

The technical assistance session was a resounding success. Dr. Castro stated that the experience had surpassed his expectations and committed to continue collaborating with the Center for Global Health to share Costa Rica’s experience and strengthen its monitoring and evaluation efforts.

Costa Rica’s main tobacco control law (No. 9028) is quite comprehensive and regulates, among other things, smoke free places, tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and tobacco packaging and labeling.

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