Puerto Rico, Associated Free State of Puerto Rico, is an unincorporated
territory of the United States(I$(B
located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republicandwest
of the Virgin Islands.
Puerto Rico is mostly mountainous with large coastal areas in the north
and south. The main mountain
range is called the Cordillera Central. The highest elevation in Puerto
Rico, Cerro de Punta
1,339 meters, is located in this range. Another important peak is
El Yunque, one of the tallest in Sierra
de Luquillo at the El Yunque National Forest, with an elevation of 1,065
m. Puerto Rico has 17 lakes,
all man-made, and more than 50 rivers, most originating in Cordillera Central.
Rivers in the northern
region of the island are typically longer and of higher water flow rates
than those of the south,
since the south receives less rain than the central-northern regions. Located
in the tropics,
Puerto Ricoh has an average temperature of 28C throughout the year. Temperatures
do not change
drastically throughout the seasons. The temperature in the south is usually
a few degrees higher than
the north and temperatures in the central interior mountains are always
cooler than the rest of
the island. The Hurricane season extends over from June to November.
Tourism is an important component of Puerto Rican economy supplying an
approximate $1.8 billion.
In 1999, an estimated 5 million tourist visited the island, most from the
U.S. Nearly, a third of these
are cruise ship passengers. A steady increase in hotel registrations since
1998 and the construction
of new hotels and tourism projects, such as the Puerto Rico Convention
Center, indicate the current
strength of the tourism industry.
A tough anti-smoking law has been enforced in Puerto Rico.
The law to regulate the smoking practice in public places banned in 1993,
and its amendment law
to regulate smoking in private and public places became effective in 1996.
modification, as the Caribbean's toughest anti-smoking law, established
in March 2007, amended
the restrictions, that forbid this practice inside jails, pubs, restaurants,
including open-air terraces
with one or more employees, bars, casinos, workplaces, educational institutions,
cars with children
under age 13. Smoking sections are not allowed. Hotel/motel rooms are exempted.
Fines start at $250.
Relatively, few Puerto Ricans smoke, but smoking-related illnesses still
cost the Commonwealth
an estimated $1.1-billion annually.
The articles were written in August 2010, by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.