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Mexico enacts one of the world’s most stringent anti-smoking laws

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If you smoke, do it at home, now that Mexico has begun one of the world’s toughest smoking ban.

The law, approved in 2021 and enacted Sunday, also includes a ban on tobacco advertising.

This expands a 2008 law that created smoke-free spaces in bars, restaurants and workplaces. Now, the law is an outright ban in all public spaces, including parks and beaches.

Advertising and promotion depicting cigarettes or their logos are also supposed to be eliminated from shops and billboards.

Whether Mexico can and will enforce the policy is another question. With police corruption so rampant, many fear that rather than issuing fines, some officers will use it as a pretext for taking bribes, notes BBC News.

“Bravo, Mexico!” he said. “WHO welcomes such a bold move on tobacco control.”

Mexico — where the most-sold cigarette brand is Marlboro — now joins nations such as Ireland, Greece, Hungary and Malta as those with the most stringent smoke-free environments.

An estimated 16% of adults in Mexico are tobacco smokers. Smoking causes nearly a million deaths in the Americas each year. Bolivia and Chile hold the highest smoking rates in Latin America, at 40% and 38.7%, respectively.

The sale and use of e-cigarettes and vapes are also due to face new restrictions.

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