Mexico Sets in Place New Strict Tobacco Regulations

Among the world’s strictest, the new laws ban smoking in public places, including hotels, beaches and parks.

The new regulations are part of the country’s General Law for Tobacco Control reform and extend the existing federal and state tobacco control law which came into place in 2008. They include a total ban on the promotion, advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products, and the sales and use of vapes and e-cigarettes are believed to be the next in line for new regulations.

Speaking in December 2022 about Mexico’s tobacco control plans, Dr. Juan Arturo Sabines, a Pan American Health Organization’s national consultant, said that the measures pit Mexico, where the most sold cigarette brand is Marlboro, “against one of the biggest, most powerful industries in the world.”

The highest smoking rates in South America
It has been estimated that approximately 16% of Mexican adults are cigarette smokers. While Bolivia and Chile hold the highest smoking rates in the region, at 40% and 38.7% respectively. Other South American countries considering such measures are Brazil, El Salvador and Chile.

Last Summer, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice ordered 32 companies to suspend the sales of e-cigarettes via a post in the Union official diary. Proposal of law 5087/2020 banning “the production, import, sale and advertising of electronic smoking devices, which include electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products, as well as their accessories and refills”, was still being considered in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the National Congress.

Yet with the suspension, the Ministry of Justice gave a narrow 48 hour time window for local businesses to halt e-cigarette sales. Among the companies mentioned in the order published in the Official Gazette are websites including OLX, Enjoei, Via Sa (owner of the brands Extra, Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio) as well as businesses that have stood out in this area such as Beetle Juices.