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Cancun Beaches, Resorts, And Public Spaces Will Be Smoke-Free 

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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.   

Tourists on a Beach in Cancun, Mexico

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. 

Outdoor Restaurant Near Cancun in Isla Mujeres

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. 

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Exterior of Mandala Nightclub in Cancun, Mexico

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.” 

Tourists Relaxing on a Beach Bed Looking Out at the Caribbean Sea in Cancun, Mexico

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. 

Puerto Morelos Beachfront Restaurant with People Sitting at the Bar

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.   

Cars and people on a street in Cancun, Mexico at night.

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.   

Tourists walking down a busy street in Cancun, Mexico.

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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Roberta Speyer

Friday 20th of January 2023

What will happen to the cigar stores that display their products in their shops along the tourist areas. If the cigars cannot be displayed or images shown how can they operate? Many have customers and leases and employees. I think this is too restrictive. Glad we bought a private house and not a condo four years ago. My husband likes the occasional cigar on our patio.

jesus

Friday 20th of January 2023

Looks like another opportunity for the local police to extort fines while ignoring actual public health issues. I would cancel my trip if I could, and I don't smoke.

jen j

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

@jesus, So very True .. I am glad I already decided NOT to go to Cancun this year, as I go every year. This Is a RIDICULOUS law as they should be more concerned about the Taxi drivers who hack up prices just because they can.Where is that Law? Smoking.... Seriously..

sheila

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

never going back to mexico EVER

Clint

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

This new smoking ban is highly unethical to the rights of a smoker, who by the way is addicted to this vice. To not have a grace period to allow tourist a chance to adjust their travel is ridiculous. Smokers can be removed and have been from anywhere public now with little to no effect on the public. This will cost Mexico massive dollars in tourism as only north America has reduced the consumption of nicotine. The rest of the world is still in the 50% population realm of smokers. Sad day when smoking takes precedents over Cartels and Crime.

Milly

Thursday 19th of January 2023

@Clint, I agree ! There should have been an announcement early last year this was coming so travelers can decide if they want to vacation in Mexico!

Lois

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

@Clint, very well stated. Thank you

Richard

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

I hope they repeal (relax) this soon. Studys have already shown that these kinds of bans do not significantly affect the rate of smoking. I enjoy a cigar in the evening, now with this ban, why will I vacation in Cancun? There are many other destinations that have reasonable restrictions.

Clint

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

@Richard, Agreed!