Anti-tobacco law funds new Panama cancer hospital:
This article was originally published in Clinica
Panama is to part-finance a new hospital specialising in cancer with funds derived from legislation aimed at reducing the incidence of smoking. Panama's oncological hospital is due to receive an additional $3.2 million a year from revenues generated by a 5% rise in tax on tobacco. Panama has clamped down on smoking, in a bid to reduce the burden of smoking-related illnesses. Every day, five people a day die from cancer - related primarily to smoking - which is considered to cost the state $10,000 per patient. The law, approved earlier this month by the legislative assembly, also enforces strict punitive measures aimed at reducing the incidence of smoking. These include fines of up to $1,000 for smoking outside restricted areas, and imprisonment and heavy fines for trafficking.