Mexico Passes New Federal Tobacco Control Law

June 14, 2008
Mexico Passes New Federal Tobacco Control Law

The General Law for the Control of Tobacco (Ley General para el Control del Tabaco) was published in the Official Journal of the Federation on May 30th. Thepurpose of the new Law is to regulate the use and importation of tobacco, as well as to protect the general population against exposure to tobacco smoke. The Law seeks to achieve a 100% smoke-free environment in public areas, workplaces and public transportation, as well as in schools. It also seeks to reduce the availability and demand for tobacco products through new security measures and sanctions. The Law imposes restrictions on the tobacco industry’s production, promotion, advertising, distribution, and sale of tobacco. It establishes product disclosure obligations that must occupy at least 30% of the front of a carton of cigarettes and 100% of the back of the package, as well as 100% of the sides of the carton. In addition, the new law requires businesses to post negative advertising in their establishments concerning the use of tobacco, as issued by the Mexican Department of Health (Secretaria de Salud). The new Law applies to any business that distributes any product containing tobacco, or which publicizes the use of tobacco (for example, magazines containing cigarette ads). Given that this is an area of concurrent jurisdiction, Mexican states may issue their own specific rules. Accordingly, the Law to Protect Non-Smokers of the Federal District (Ley de Protección a los No Fumadores del Distrito Federal) requires smokers to smoke outside of buildings. In the State of Neuvo León, local law allows smoking in public places, so long as such places have proper ventilation and smoke extraction systems.

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