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All Resorts, Beaches, And Public Spaces In Mexico Will Be Smoke-Free

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Mexico has just launched one of the most comprehensive anti-tobacco measures in the world. Smoking is now banned in all public spaces. The ban was unanimously approved by the Mexican Senate in December 2021 but is now officially in effect.

Aerial view of resort in cancun mexico with pool and beach in view with travelers enjoying their day

What Are The New Measures?

In a dramatic expansion of the 2008 law, smoking is banned in all public spaces. The new measures include:

  • A smoking ban in public places, including on beaches, at hotels and resorts, public parks, and outdoor bars and restaurants. Together with the 2008 ban, this includes all indoor and outdoor public spaces in Mexico.
  • Prohibiting the promotion of tobacco products by banning advertising and sponsorships by tobacco companies.
  • Tobacco products can no longer be displayed or promoted inside shops where they are sold.

These measures indicate that the only legal places to smoke tobacco is inside private homes or in private outdoor spaces.

Tourists Walking To The Beach In Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mayan Coast Of Mexico

Enforcement

Mexico’s estimated 15 million smokers, along with any tourists who smoke, will now be subject to enforcement if they light up in public. According to a report by Reuters, smokers who violate the law are subject to fines between $50 – $300. It was also noted that smokers who refuse to cooperate with the ban could face up to 36 hours in jail. Businesses such as restaurants and bars that allow smoking in their establishments face fines of up to $46,000.  

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Mexican Policeman Patrolling A Beach In Mexico, Latin America

Concerns have been raised that the ban will be hard to enforce and that it is prone to abuse by authorities willing to accept bribes in exchange for looking the other way.

What About Vaping?

In the summer of 2022, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took a harsh stance against alternative tobacco products. He enacted a ban on the import and sale of all e-cigarettes and vaping devices. Officials cited negative health effects and harmful promotion to young people as the main reasons behind the ban. This ban, together with the new measures, means that vape devices and electronic cigarettes cannot be imported, sold, or used in any public places in Mexico.

A no smoking sign on the beach full of tourists on a sunny day

The New Measures Are Building On Old Laws

In 2008 Mexico took the first steps towards a smoking ban when they enacted a law intended to reduce smoking indoors and in workplaces. The ban prohibited smoking in bars, restaurants, schools, and on public transportation.

It also increased the detail of warnings required to be printed on cigarette packaging to include graphic images of the damage smoking imparts on users. Additionally, shops that sell tobacco products to kids can be shut down. Sales of single cigarettes were banned – users now need to buy an entire pack.

a sign shows the smoking ban in mexico

Why Is There An Outright Ban On Public Smoking In Mexico?

Tobacco use has been known to cause health issues in users for decades, but it is still widely used. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the use of tobacco is the most preventable cause of death in the world. Approximately 1 million people in the Americas die each year because of the harmful effects of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking accounts for:

  • 15% of deaths from cardiovascular disease
  • 24% of deaths from cancer
  • 45% of deaths from chronic respiratory disease

By increasing tobacco regulation, Mexican officials hope to reduce the drug’s adverse health effects that plague so many of its citizens. By making it inconvenient to smoke, hopes are that fewer people will partake.

Top 5 Beaches In Mexico To Experience The Culture And Are Most Visited By Locals

The new tobacco regulations in Mexico are welcome news to health advocates around the world. Cristian Morales, former PAHO/WHO Representative from Mexico, has stated that “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.  

Aerial view of cancun hotel zone with a boat in the ocean

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Jim c

Thursday 19th of January 2023

I’d say ALCOHOL is not far behind as a preventable killer. If u consider it’s contributions to auto accidents, health related causes, suicides, and the idiotic things peeps do while drinking it.

gloria

Thursday 19th of January 2023

Little disappointed in this law. We were thinking that Mexico would be our go to place in November. Not now. Will be looking else where.

Christine

Sunday 22nd of January 2023

@gloria, Booked our trip and now will cancel! Yes smoking is bad but forcing people to quit on the spot is not acceptable! Give tourist designated place! Won’t affect the non smoker! Mexico will loose a lot of tourist!

Mercedes

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Travel to Riviera Maya for vacation 1-3 times a year. Those trips will stop if I can’t vape. A lot of tourists smoke or vape and this will definitely hurt tourism! Do I need to cancel my trip in March? I refuse to suffer for a week while I am supposed to be on vacation!!

James pfeifer

Friday 20th of January 2023

@Mercedes, Totally agree! We booked with friends a month ago, too late to cancel without penalty. I smoke the occasional small cigar, but my good friend travelling with us is a regular smoker. It’s not fair or realistic to expect him to quit cold turkey for 10 days. This will be our seventh and last trip to Mexico unless they back off this policy. Lots of beautiful places to go that treat tourists well.

Dwayne

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

I am here in Mexico, from Florida. Leave today, thank goodness. This law will ruin this Country, because the tourist are the bread and butter here. I was planning on retiring here, but that's not happening. I can't wait to see the downturn results on the Economy here. This was a huge mistaken law they just passed.

GINA

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

DOES ANYONE KNOW IF RESORTS WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE ANY SMOKING AREA AT ALL?

natacha

Friday 20th of January 2023

@Dwayne, Is this confirmed by any resort? In Jamaica they have strict smoking rules but they have 3-4 designated area on the resort for smokers. Doubt a resort can survive without at least a designated area for smokers and vapers

Dwayne

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

@GINA,

No place that you are allowed to smoke, including resorts. Not even walking down the sidewalk. I am here now, and can't wait to leave today