On April 28th, Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies voted unanimously to strengthen its tobacco control law; 415 Congressional members supported an amendment that would make the country 100% smokefree and place a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS). To be fully compliant with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), gaps on these two policies must be closed.
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are on the rise in Mexico. Largely caused by four factors—tobacco use, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and excessive alcohol—heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease disproportionately impact the most vulnerable populations. Implementing 100% smoke and emissions free environments—and protecting children from tobacco product promotion and publicity—will help Mexico turn the tide on its NCD epidemic and also facilitate the Sustainable Development Goals.
“After a 12-year impasse, and despite aggressive tobacco industry interference to undermine progress, this outstanding step forward can protect the Mexican population and curb the rise in NCDs,” said Gustavo Sóñora, Regional Director for Latin America at The Union.
To strengthen protection against second-hand smoke and emissions, the amendment includes a new definition of “mass attendance areas;” increases the number of public places where tobacco and nicotine are banned; and clarifies that all educational facilities, including universities, must be smoke-free. The Mexican Senate is expected to discuss the bill by September.
“The Union will continue to provide tobacco control evidence-based materials and technical support to the government,” said Sóñora.