Mexico New Leader in Anti-Tobacco Laws After Public Smoking Ban
In a major move, Mexico has banned smoking in all public places.
Cigarettes can only be lit inside one's private residence, and there will be no more legal advertising for tobacco products in the country.
The law expands a 2008 ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, and workplaces. It also prohibits the promotion, advertising, and sponsorship of tobacco products. Similar restrictions will fall on e-cigarettes and vaping.
Since 1971, it's been illegal to advertise tobacco products on television, print, and radio in the United States. The loophole, however, is that you can advertise inside stores.
Mexico has made it illegal not only to advertise everywhere, including inside stores, but also to be on show inside of stores. They cannot be on display for sale at all. Out of sight, out of mind thanks to the General Law for Tobacco Control.
If tourists are caught lighting up, they could face fines from $50-$300, or up to 36 hours in jail. The country now has one of the world's strictest anti-tobacco laws.
In Mexico, about 10% of deaths — 63,000 per year — are attributable to the use of tobacco and exposure to its smoke, according to the WHO’s Pan American Health Organization.
This amendment represents a historic step forward for Mexico in its anti-smoking policies and reaffirms its role as one of the leaders in the fight against tobacco in the world,
-Dr. Cristian Morales Fuhrimann, PAHO’s representative in Mexico
The WHO Director-General took to Twitter to praise the law, calling it a "bold move" that would help prevent millions of deaths per year.
Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death in the world today, according to the WHO. It's also the only legal consumer that kills about half of its consumers when used as directed.