New Restrictions on Tobacco Sales and Consumption Take Effect in Mexico
Tobacco-free areas in Mexico will expand thanks to the new legislation, and offenders will face fines of up to 3,000 pesos.
The new General Law for Tobacco Control went into effect on Sunday, January 15, 2023, and with it came new restrictions for the sale and consumption of tobacco in the country.
Because this law prohibits all forms of cigarette advertising as well as their display at points of sale, stores like Oxxo will have to hide them from public view and keep a list of names and prices on hand to inform those who want to buy.
To protect the health of the population, mainly children, this measure includes the expansion of tobacco-free spaces, so smokers will have fewer spaces and new signage so they know when it is allowed and when it is not.
Places where smoking is no longer allowed in Mexico
As of January 15, 2023, smoking is prohibited in workplaces, public transportation, schools, venues where shows are held, hotels, stadiums, shopping malls, beaches, parks, or places where children or adolescents are present, as well as in those marked with the legend "smoke-free space", and restaurants will not be able to offer smoking areas.
The Federal Commission for the Protection of Health Risks (Cofepris) will monitor compliance with the regulation, and if you want to report someone smoking in prohibited areas, call 800 033 5050.
In Mexico, approximately one out of eight Mexicans, i.e., 16 million people, are smokers, and there are 173 deaths due to smoking. With this measure, it is hoped that the demand for tobacco will go down and that younger people will stop smoking as often, which would be good for their health.
According to the Ministry of Health, tobacco denormalization will avoid 49 thousand premature deaths and 292 thousand of new cases of smoking-related disorders over the next ten years. This will result in savings of 116 thousand pesos in healthcare costs associated with smoking and other nicotine products.
Smoking in Mexico
Before the entrance of the Europeans, indigenous people smoked tobacco during ritual rites, making smoking a long-standing component of Mexican culture. The widespread use of cigarettes in Mexico, on the other hand, is a more recent development; throughout the 20th century, cigarette use rose significantly. Mexico emerged as a significant tobacco producer in the 1950s and 1960s, and the number of cigarettes consumed per person rose quickly.
Mexico has enacted several strategies to discourage smoking in recent years, including raising cigarette taxes, enforcing smoking bans in public areas, and ramping up public education efforts about the dangers of smoking. The federal government has also passed legislation to control the marketing and sales of tobacco goods as well as to safeguard citizens from secondhand smoke. The law in question is one of the most recent steps the government has made to reduce smoking in the nation.