Mexico’s Action on E-cigarettes and… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Mexico’s Action on E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products Will Protect Youth

Statement of Patricia Sosa, Director of Latin American and the Caribbean Programs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
June 01, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed a decree banning the distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in Mexico. While the tobacco industry claims these products are designed for smokers seeking to quit, aggressive marketing of these products to youth around the world has threatened to reverse decades of progress in driving down youth tobacco use. This step will protect millions of young Mexicans. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids commends President López Obrador and his government for taking action considering the tobacco industry’s marketing of these products in ways that lead to widespread use of these products by youth. 

When it comes to regulating e-cigarettes and HTPs, governments have a range of options available, including regulating them like medicinal products, regulating them like traditional tobacco, or where the government determines that those measures are inadequate to protect its citizens, banning them. Regardless of the regulatory approach a government chooses to take with e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, given how the tobacco industry has marketed them, it is important to take the threat these products pose to young people seriously and continue to implement proven tobacco control measures. 

On May 27, President López Obrador was rightly awarded the WHO Director-General Special World No Tobacco Day award in recognition of his commitment and accomplishments in tobacco control. In August 2021, President López Obrador banned the import and export of e-cigarettes and HTPs, and in February, he signed and published the amended General Law on Tobacco Control, which prohibited smoking and e-cigarette/HTPs use in indoor public spaces and workplaces. The president’s latest decree is a further decisive step to prevent a new nicotine epidemic among youth. 

In too many countries, e-cigarettes and HTPs have addicted a new generation of young consumers. In the United States, thanks to nicotine-loaded products like Juul, tasty e-cigarette flavors like mango and cotton candy, and aggressive social media marketing campaigns, youth e-cigarette use skyrocketed to what public health authorities called a public health epidemic.