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A landmark decision, Mexican Congress approves key amendments to National Tobacco Control Law

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Mexico closes gaps in national tobacco control law, becoming 100% smoke and emissions-free and ninth country in the Americas to completely ban any form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship (TAPS).

On 14 December, after extensive debate in the Parliament, the Mexican Senate approved unanimously the most important amendment to the 2008 Mexican Tobacco Control Law. The amendment makes the country 100% smoke and emissions-free and implements a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco publicity. With these two measures, Mexico makes significant progress in becoming fully compliant with the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Like many other low- and middle-income countries, Mexico is devastated by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which disproportionately affect the poorest, most vulnerable populations. According to national data, tobacco use is the leading risk factor for NCDs and responsible for the premature death of more than 63,000 people annually. Comprehensive implementation of smoke-free environments and complete bans on tobacco advertising are, according to a large body of evidence, two of the most effective measures to protect children and vulnerable populations from tobacco product harm.  In addition to ameliorating Mexico’s NCD epidemic, these measures will also facilitate the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“After a 13-year impasse, we are finally seeing monumental tobacco control progress,” said Gustavo Sóñora from The Union. “This accomplishment is particularly impressive because it demonstrates that government is not succumbing to tobacco industry interference and that there is tremendous political will at all government levels to prioritize public health over private profit.”

Mexico is now the twenty-fourth smoke-free country and the ninth to totally ban any form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship in the Americas region. Smoke-free environments protect people from secondhand smoke and emissions—from tobacco and novel products—and TAPS help prevent young people from initiating use of these products.

“The Union extends heartfelt congratulates to Mexico for this important milestone,” said Gan Quan from The Union.  “We wholeheartedly endorse this decision and are eager to work in hand with Mexican authorities, providing technical support to further implement the WHO FCTC.”