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If you thought Mexico’s drug war was only about illegal drugs like fentanyl or cocaine, you would be wrong. The country’s war on nicotine has just dealt people who smoke cigarettes or vape a serious blow. A law took effect on January 15 that imposes a total ban on smoking in all public places—you can now only smoke in your home or outdoors on private property. It simultaneously imposes tighter restrictions on nicotine vapes, which also cannot legally be used in public places.
There is also a total ban on the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products. For shops that sell cigarettes, it is now against the law to openly display them.
One of the World’s strictest anti-tobacco laws has been imposed in Mexico, setting in force a total ban on smoking in public places, including hotels, beaches and parks.
The new law, which is part of the country's General Law for Tobacco Control reform, came into force on Sunday. It will also see the total ban on the promotion, advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products. The sale and use of e-cigarettes and vapes are also due to face new restrictions. The new blanket ban extends on an existing federal and state tobacco control law which came into place in 2008, banning smoking in indoor spaces such as bars, restaurants and workplaces.
Commercialization of vaping devices has always been technically illegal in Mexico. Usage, however, has not been, and the growth of a relatively unregulated vaping market reached almost 1 million occasional or daily users in 2017, according to government sources. The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the prohibition of vapes is unconstitutional; while vapers were cautiously optimistic that the decision would create a regulated vaping market, non-regulation has stubbornly prevailed.
Mexico banned sales of electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices on Tuesday because of concerns about their health effects, the government announced. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said it was a "lie" to claim that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to inhaling tobacco smoke.
"The vapors are also harmful for health," added Lopez Obrador, who signed a decree introducing the ban on World No Tobacco Day. He showed a pink vaping device to illustrate how the products are intended to appeal to young people.
"Look at the color, the design," Lopez Obrador said.
The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announces the launch of Live Vape Free, a new program offering teens free tools and resources by text message to help them quit the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette, nicotine and vaping).
“Recent research by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that much of the progress made in nearly two decades of getting kids to quit smoking may be eroding, as so many teens are trying, but failing to quit vaping nicotine.” said Acting Department of Health Secretary, David R. Scrase, M.D. “This program will be a valuable tool to assist our young people in quitting e-cigarettes [...]
A group of Mexican lawmakers want to close legal loopholes they say make e-cigarettes easily available to teenagers.
The way the laws are written, it’s illegal to import this product to Mexico, but it’s not unlawful to sell it or manufacture alternative methods of nicotine delivery, lawmakers from the MORENA Party said.
“The consumption of tobacco products is down, but the development of nicotine delivery technology is strongly positioned in our society. We must update our legal framework to include newly commercialized products,” Sen. Eduardo Perez Astorga said in a publicly broadcast forum earlier this month.
As part of an effort to curb tobacco use in New Mexico, especially among high school students who are increasingly using e-cigarettes, several lawmakers expressed support Thursday for increasing taxes on all tobacco products.
The push to raise the price on cigarettes and other tobacco products came after representatives from the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network delivered a long list of bleak statistics about the toll tobacco use is taking on New Mexicans.
Mexican lawmakers missed the Supreme Court’s deadline to legalize marijuana by April 30, and they didn’t ask for another extension. Now there is talk about a special session after June’s elections—but the court could issue a new ruling striking down criminalization in the meantime.
The Louisiana House of Representatives voted to legalize medical cannabis flower under the state’s existing limited program. The body also advanced a bill to prepare for broader recreational marijuana legalization as well as separate hemp regulation legislation.
Mexico is on the verge of creating the world’s largest legal marijuana market, a move that could pressure President Joe Biden to embrace weed, too.
Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies passed landmark legislation Thursday morning, ahead of a April 30 deadline set by the country's Supreme Court to legalize recreational sales. The Senate is expected to back the bill in the coming days. “It’s historic,” said Luis Armendáriz, a cannabis attorney with the Hoban Law Group who works with companies that are looking to enter the Mexican market. “You have the end of prohibition of more than 100 years.”
Philip Morris, the company that markets the Marlboro brand of cigars, announced that it will leave cigars in Mexico, a market in which it has a 65% share, to promote other forms of smokeless tobacco consumption with its IQOS device.
“We want to have a positive impact on the 15 million smokers in the country. For this reason, we have decided to open the way to science and innovation through revolutionary products such as IQOS, and to achieve a smoke-free future in the country as part of our goals for 2030 ”, said Andrzej Dabrowski, CEO of Philip Morris Mexico, a statement.