The Union congratulates the Government of Mexico for issuing a presidential decree on 19 February 2020 prohibiting the import of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) into the country.
The Union congratulates the Government of Mexico for issuing a presidential decree on 19 February 2020 prohibiting the import of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) into the country. The decree sends a clear message that public health should be protected at the highest level, above the commercial interests of the tobacco industry.
Although e-cigarettes have been banned in Mexico since May 2008, this decree puts health and customs regulations in alignment, providing legal certainty on the issue.
The Federal Commission against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS), the National Commission against Addictions (CONADIC) and the Ministry of Health declared in a joint public statement that Mexican health authorities do not endorse e-cigarettes or HTPs as lower risk alternatives to smoking or as an effective means to quit smoking – in fact evidence shows that many users of new tobacco products also smoke traditional cigarettes.
“This is a timely measure by the Government of Mexico,” said Dr Gan Quan, Director of Tobacco Control at The Union. “The decree will prevent the tobacco and e-cigarette industry from expanding in the country and addicting more people to nicotine.”
“The Union hopes to see enforcement bodies such as COFEPRIS taking swift action against violations of both the new decree and the existing national ban on e-cigarettes,” said Gustavo Sonora, Regional Director for Latin America at The Union. “It will be important to ensure that illicit sales of e-cigarettes and HTPs are prevented, advertisements removed, and use of the products in public places stopped.”
Tobacco control efforts in Mexico have shown positive results, with the national smoking rate declining from 28 percent in 1990 to 16 percent in 2017. The Union has provided technical assistance to further tobacco control policies in Mexico since 2006, supporting partners to strengthen tobacco policy enforcement and evaluation and to present scientific evidence which promotes tobacco control in each of Mexico’s 32 provinces.
With over 16 million Mexican people still using tobacco as of 2017, The Union will continue to provide support to partners and the Government of Mexico to further implement the policies set out in the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to reduce the preventable diseases and early death caused by tobacco.