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Mexico's smoking ban means travellers have to butt out before next visit


Travellers who enjoy sipping a cold beer and smoking a cigarette in Mexico may have to butt out before their next visit.

The popular sun destination now banned smoking in all public places, including outdoors.

According to the government of Canada’s travel advisory website, smoking has been prohibited in all public places since January 2023.

This includes beaches, parks, hotels and restaurants. It also states you may be fined if you are caught smoking in public.

Manitoba Lung Association’s president and CEO Neil Johnston says the Mexican smoking law essentially prohibits smoking in the public realm.

"You can still buy cigarettes but you can only smoke them in theory in people's homes or backyards,” he said.

He said this type legislative approach is about reducing second-hand smoke exposure and de-normalizing smoking.

"They've taken a step that is really laudable. It's something under the government's control and they took that step."

Mexico is not the only country getting tough on tobacco.

Johnston said in December, New Zealand voted to essentially phase out smoking. He added the law states anyone born on or after January 1, 2009, will never be allowed to buy cigarettes, meaning the legal minimum age will go up every year.

He also said the United States is also considering capping the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.

In line at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, many travellers were headed to Mexico Friday afternoon and most people CTV News spoke with didn't know about the new smoking law, but they did support it.

Sharon Parenteau, who is a smoker, was well aware of the new regulations. She said she is a little nervous about what might happen if she was to have a cigarette and get caught.

On the other hand, she just had a friend return from Mexico who said the ban was actually a good thing.

"Because it's kind of gross to have kids playing in the sand and picking up cigarette butts. Nobody wants that. We wouldn’t do that at home so why would we do it there."

Parenteau has heard resorts are allowed to have designated smoking areas and hopes the resort she is staying at will have one.

The government of Canada’s travel advisory for Mexico also states it is illegal to bring electronic cigarettes, vaping devices and solutions into Mexico. You could have these items confiscated by customs officials. You could also be fined or detained. Top Stories

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