The Mexican government has taken a major step to improve the quality of the air people breathe in public spaces in the popular tourist destination by further expanding the public space smoking ban in the country. This means Cancun beaches, resorts, and all other public spaces will be smoke-free from now on. This is considered one of the most extensive and far-reaching bans of its type in the world, prompting applause from the Pan American Health Organization.
Origins Of The Ban
The ban, which is part of Mexico’s General Law for Tobacco Control, was originally approved in 2021 and applied to enclosed public spaces. It also included a ban on advertising that displays tobacco products, or promotes the use of tobacco products, in stores, bars, and other establishments. Now, the ban has been extended to prohibit smoking in outdoor public spaces as well, including on beaches, in public parks, and in any other outdoor public place where people gather.
Reason For The Ban
It is well known that not only smoking but secondhand smoke, too, is extremely harmful to the health of humans, both young and old. In fact, according to the Pan American Health Organization, tobacco use and exposure are responsible for more than 63,000 deaths in Mexico every year, which represents 10 percent of all deaths that occur during the year. While there was a decline in the use of tobacco between 2002 and 2009, tobacco use has remained steady since.
Pan American Health Organization Response
The ban is the culmination of a 13-year effort to get Mexico up to par with the rest of the world regarding the restriction and prevention of tobacco use. Now, Mexico will be one of the leaders in this important endeavor to decrease its use and the complications that stem from it. Pan American Health Organization representative Dr. Cristian Morales Fuhrimann commented on the move, stating 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.”
Other Things The Law Addresses
In the law, the use of vapor products and e-cigarettes is also addressed, particularly the use of these products in indoor environments. The government has imposed stricter regulations and restrictions on these types of products, but it is unclear as of right now what those restrictions will be. In addition to banning the promotion of cigarettes inside stores, the law also includes a ban on even displaying cigarettes in the stores.
What This Means For Cancun Tourists
Hotels no longer offer smoking rooms at their properties, and this will include a ban on smoking on hotel terraces as well. Tourists will also have to restrain from smoking on the beaches, as it is now against federal law, but there is no explanation yet of what the punishment will be if caught in the act. Smoking was already banned in restaurants and bars, but the extension of the law also includes outdoor venues such as those where live performances take place.
Protecting Tourists And Citizens In Cancun
Millions of tourists visit Cancun every year, and this far-reaching law will go a long way in protecting those tourists from the dangers of secondhand smoke. It also protects hospitality workers across the board from having to suffer from inhaling dangerous toxins. This, according to health organizations around the world, is the most important thing.
It remains to be seen how smokers will feel about the law or what areas might be designated for smokers, but one thing is clear, and that is where people are not allowed to smoke. Visiting a foreign country, the last thing you want to do is violate any laws, so it is important to adhere to the new rules.
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