Mexico and its anti-smoking laws have recently become a lot stricter. The General Law for Tobacco Control, which passed in 2021, came into effect on Sunday (January 15). This means that people can no longer smoke in public places, including outdoors at beaches and parks.
According to ABC News, it also means that there is a ban on the promotion, advertising, and sponsorship of tobacco products. There will also be new restrictions on the sale and use of e-cigarettes and vapes, which contain highly addictive nicotine and cancer-causing substances.
The new law expands on the existing federal and state tobacco control law that was introduced in 2008. Under that law, people were banned from smoking in restaurants, bars, and workplaces. Now, the only legal place to smoke is inside your home.
“Bravo Mexico!” tweeted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General. “WHO welcomes such a bold move on tobacco control. We call on all countries to strengthen No Tobacco policies and help us prevent 8 million deaths every year.”
Another group that was thrilled with the new law was the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), who said the ban goes “up against one of the biggest, most powerful industries in the world.” Other smoke-free countries include Ireland, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta, Spain and Hungary who have “a complete ban on smoking in enclosed public places, on public transport and in workplaces.”
“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,” said Cristian Morales, PAHO representative in Mexico.
While plenty of people and organizations praised the Mexican government’s decision, there were some who believed the country was focused on the wrong issues.
Meanwhile, in the United States, House Republicans recently ended the ban on smoking inside the Capitol.