Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies Approves a Bill to Strengthen the Fight Against the Tobacco Epidemic

Statement of Patricia Sosa, Director of Latin American and the Caribbean Programs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
April 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday’s decision by the Mexican Chamber of Deputies to approve a reform of the General Law on Tobacco Control is an important step forward in saving lives from tobacco use. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds the Chamber for sanctioning amendments that mandate 100 percent smoke-free indoor public spaces and workplaces and a complete ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

This historical vote puts the onus on the Senate - which together with the Chamber of Deputies makes up Mexico’s Congress - to promptly pass the bill and send it to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to be signed into law. When enacted, the law will significantly contribute to reduced death and illness from diseases like cancer, heart disease, and lung disease for millions of Mexicans. Furthermore, it will allow Mexico to join a community of 23 countries from the Americas that already ban indoor smoking. Smoking is a global epidemic with serious health, social and economic consequences.

In Mexico, 17.6 percent of the population smokes. Almost 10 percent of all deaths are attributable to tobacco consumption, with more than 63 thousand Mexicans dying annually from tobacco-related disease. Over 9 billion U.S. dollars is spent each year to treat tobacco-related diseases.

The public in Mexico widely supports smoke-free policies because they quickly improve health, protect people from secondhand smoke, and have no negative effects on restaurants and bars. A complete ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship is an effective measure to prevent people from starting to smoke and reduce tobacco use, especially among young people. Both policies are science-based and included in the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, an international treaty that Mexico ratified in 2004 and agreed to implement.

With the approval of these new tobacco control measures, Mexico has made a decisive step forward in protecting its people against the dangers of smoking. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids commends the Mexican tobacco control community for its outstanding advocacy efforts, and policy makers and the government for standing up against the tobacco industry’s interference, thus granting Mexican youth a healthier future.