On January 15, 2023, Mexico implemented new regulatory provisions related to the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products. In summary, the provisions prohibit the consumption of tobacco and nicotine (and their derivatives) in public areas specifically listed therein, in addition to preventing their advertising in any media and even preventing their display in any commercial point of sale.
Said new measures were included in the Regulations of the General Law for Tobacco Control. Its most significant elements include the following:
- 100% smoke-free public areas. Any public area or workplace must be 100% smoke-free.
- Places of “collective gathering.” Places of “collective gathering” where smoking is prohibited include patios, terraces, balconies, amusement parks, playgrounds, sports venues, beaches, entertainment centers, stadiums, arenas, shopping malls, markets, hotels, hospital, health centers, medical clinics, places of religious worship, restaurants, public transport hubs, schools, etc.
- Advertisement is prohibited. Any kind of advertisement for the sale of tobacco products is prohibited, including advertising through digital media, social networks, email, streaming, and subliminal advertising in television and movie theaters, among others.
- Exhibition is prohibited. Any type of exhibition of tobacco products in the stores that sell tobacco products, including in their displays, is prohibited.
- Exclusive areas for smokers. The new provisions state that “exclusive areas for smokers” may be established, provided such areas comply with the following:
- They are located in outdoor spaces.
- No food, beverages, or entertainment services are provided in such areas.
- Social or recreational activities are prohibited in these areas.
- They are located in separate and uncommunicated spaces from the smoke-free areas, in a perimeter of at least ten meters from the entrances, accesses, exits, or any designated place where people pass or congregate, establishing that said areas for smokers must not occupy a surface that is greater than 10% of the total area of the real property or establishment.
These regulations affect mainly restaurants, including those that currently have terraces for smokers, private clubs (since they are considered to be workplaces), terrace bars, entertainment centers (including those that are outdoors), hotels (in their restaurants, pools, and beaches), plus, of course, smokers.
We believe that several arguments exist to consider the new provisions unconstitutional. In view of this, if a business is affected, it has the right to request constitutional protection by filing a lawsuit (“Amparo”). The deadline to file it is February 27, 2023.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and/or if you need any legal advice on the matter.
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