Where can you smoke and where can't you smoke in Mexico?
(CNN Spanish) --
(CNN Spanish) --
Mexico now has an improved regulation on tobacco, which toughens the rules for smokers in the country.
On December 16, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, issued a decree that amended, added, and repealed various articles of the Regulations of the General Law for Tobacco Control, with the aim of tightening the regulations regarding to the consumption and advertising of tobacco products (especially cigarettes).
These changes, which were to enter into force 30 days after the decree was published, were officially launched as of this Sunday, January 15.
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One of the most outstanding points of the new modifications is the issue of prohibitions: now the regulation clearly establishes which are the public places where smoking is totally prohibited and where it can be done.
Smokers throughout Mexico and the establishments in question will have the obligation to comply and enforce —as the case may be— everything provided by the regulation, otherwise they will be subject to various types of sanctions.
Where is smoking prohibited in Mexico?
Among the additions that were made to the regulation, is article 65 bis, which mentions that it is prohibited "to consume or have any tobacco or nicotine product lit in the spaces of collective concurrence."
What are these places?
The General Law for Tobacco Control indicates that collective gathering spaces are "any space intended for public access for the development of sports, artistic, cultural and entertainment activities, both in the public and private spheres, regardless of whether it is covered by a roof and confined by walls or whether the structure is permanent or temporary".
Therefore, in terms of the above, the places where smoking is prohibited in Mexico are the following:
Play area or places where girls, boys and adolescents stay or congregate
urban development parks
Show and entertainment centers
Sites or places of religious worship
Places of consumption or service of food or beverages
These spaces were designated in the new amendments to the Regulations of the General Law for Tobacco Control.
However, from before, the General Law for Tobacco Control already prohibited smoking in other places, which are those described in its article 26:
Spaces 100% free of tobacco smoke and emissions (basically, all those on this list and the previous one)
Collective gathering spaces (those from the previous list)
Public and private schools at all educational levels
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Where can you smoke?
Article 60 of the Regulations of the General Law for Tobacco Control indicates that "areas exclusively for smoking must be located only in open-air spaces, in which it is prohibited to provide the provision of any service or consumption of food, beverages or entertainment, among others, as well as carrying out social or leisure activities".
These exclusive smoking areas must comply with five specific characteristics so that the establishments that designate them are not penalized:
"Be physically separated and incommunicado from spaces that are 100 percent free of tobacco smoke and emissions; not be an obligatory step for people or be found at the entrances or exits of the buildings."
"Be located in a perimeter fence of at least 10 meters from the entrances, accesses, exits or any obligatory place where people pass or congregate, as well as from the places where there are air inlet ducts."
"Outdoor spaces should not be greater than 10 percent of the total area of the property or establishment. If applicable, the measurement of the total space will exclusively take into account the area intended for the provision of the service, without including it in any case the areas destined to the kitchen, to the preparation of drinks, to the sound equipment and its operators, to the toilets or parking lots".
"Have signage that prohibits the entry of minors, which must be visible and adequate. Likewise, use signage that includes graphic health warnings about the effects and damage to health that people are exposed to by entering areas exclusively to smoke".
"The access and presence of minors is prohibited. Likewise, pregnant women must be warned in particular of the risks that they and the product run when entering areas exclusively for smoking, as well as older adults and those who suffer from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, asthma, among others".
What are the penalties?
If smokers or establishments fail to comply with the provisions of the regulation or the law, they will be subject to an administrative sanction by the health authorities, as established in Title Seven of the General Law for Tobacco Control.
There are four types of administrative sanctions if you fail to comply with the provisions of the regulation, the law or other related laws (such as the General Health Law):
Reprimand with warning: it is the lightest sanction of all.
Fine: according to the law, it can be up to one hundred times the daily general minimum wage if you smoke in places where smoking is prohibited and up to 4,000 times the general daily minimum wage for establishments that do not enforce their 100% smoke-free space label. tobacco smoke and emissions.
If there is a repeat offence, the amount of the fine will be doubled.
Temporary or definitive closure, which may be partial or total: the temporary or definitive closure will be determined according to the provisions of articles 425 and 426 of the General Health Law.
Arrest for up to thirty-six hours: the arrest will be determined in accordance with the provisions of article 427 of the General Health Law.