Mexico prohibits smoking on beaches, parks and other public spaces

Starting this Sunday, Mexico extended the ban on tobacco consumption in various public spaces, from beaches to parks, as well as its advertising in any media, according to a legal reform approved by the Government.

The presidential decree, which modifies the national tobacco control law, aims to "regulation for protection against exposure to tobacco smoke and its emissions"according to the document published last December.

To do this, it expanded the list of spaces for "collective concurrence" where it will not be possible "use or have lit any tobacco or nicotine product".

These spaces include patios, terraces, balconies, amusement parks, areas where children and adolescents congregate, sports facilities, beaches, performance and entertainment centers, courts, stadiums, arenas, shopping malls, markets, hotels, transportation stops, among others.

Public areas of prisons and detention centers are also subject to the ban, the decree details.

The legal reform also seeks "establish control, promotion and sanitary surveillance" of their products and in particular prohibit "all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship thereof".

Under this premise, tobacco consumers will only be able to find out about the availability and price of their preferred products through written lists with their prices, but "no logos, stamps or brands".

The prohibition of the promotion and advertising of tobacco also includes that carried out through social networks, by streaming services, through "influencers" or any other form of digital marketing, as detailed in the decree.

The Mexican employer Coparmex of Mexico City rejected the implementation of the decree, alleging an economic impact on small businesses that sell cigarettes and a violation of the right of adult consumers to decide.

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"Of the 85,000 grocery stores in Mexico City, they generate up to 25% of their sales for this product."said Coparmex in a statement released on Friday.

The Mexican capital leads anti-smoking policies in the country. Last June, the local government prohibited smoking in areas of the historic center such as the Zócalo -main square- under penalty of fines ranging from 50 to 170 dollars.

It is estimated that in Mexico -of 126 million inhabitants- there are some 15 million smokers, of which 5% (684,000) are adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, according to data from the National Institute of Public Health.

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