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Mexican president signs decree banning sales of e-cigarettes

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Jun 01, 2022 - 09:46 AM

MEXICO CITY (AA) – Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed a decree Tuesday prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes in the country.

López Obrador signed the document during his daily press conference. The decree modifies Mexico’s General Law for Tobacco Control by prohibiting the distribution and marketing of “the new tobacco products.”

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López Gatell said the distribution of vaping and other electronic tobacco products has been commercialized in Mexico over false pretenses which claim that such products are less harmful and a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products.

In addition, he said tobacco companies often target teenagers and children, pointing to an increasing trend where 45% of young people who know about vaping have tried it at least once, including children as young as seven.

On two separate occasions, López Obrador has tried to modify import and export tax laws to halt the distribution of these types of products, but to no avail, with the Supreme Court deeming the total prohibition of e-cigarettes and vaping products in the country unconstitutional.

However, on May 19, the Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks together with the Interior Ministry issued a maximum alert citing an imminent and high degree of harm to people’s health from the use of e-cigarettes.

In his third attempt, López Obrador is now changing the General Law for Tobacco Control, which prohibits the import and export of e-cigarettes and vaping products and their circulation and commercialization.

Advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products in the media and on social networks are also prohibited.

“Regardless of the decree that we are going to sign so that commercialization is not allowed, it is to put the issue on the table, because I am certain that most mothers and fathers do not know the damage it causes. It is a matter of information,” said López Obrador at the press conference.

In addition, on World No Tobacco Day, which was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987 and is observed every year on May 31, López Obrador was granted the WHO’s special recognition award for tobacco control.​​​​​​​

The award was presented during López Obrador’s press conference by Miguel Malo Serrano, a representative of the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Mexico, for the president’s “unwavering leadership and support to strengthen tobacco control measures in Mexico.”

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