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Mexico became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on May 28, 2004.

Smoke Free Places: In Mexico, smoking is completely prohibited indoors in primary and secondary schools and in federal government facilities. In all other public places (referred to in the law as “places with public access”) and workplaces (“interior public or private work areas”), isolated indoor areas exclusively for smoking may be provided. Sub-national jurisdictions can enact smoke free laws that are more stringent than the national law.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Mexico’s law bans most means of tobacco advertising and promotion but provides an exemption for advertising and promotion aimed only at adults through adult magazines, personal communication by mail or within establishments exclusively for adult access. Any form of sponsorship that promotes the purchase and use of tobacco products is prohibited.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Rotating pictorial and text health warnings are required to cover at least 30 percent of the front, 100 percent of the back, and 100 percent of one side of smoked tobacco products packages. For smokeless tobacco products, a text warning is required and it must cover 100 percent of one side face. The law also prohibits misleading tobacco product packaging and labeling and requires the qualitative (descriptive) disclosure of constituents and emissions.

Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation: The General Law on Tobacco Control is the principal law governing tobacco control in Mexico.  The law covers many aspects of tobacco control, including, but not limited to: definitions of key terms; smoke free policies; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; packaging and labeling; and enforcement.  The Regulations of the General Law on Tobacco Control were passed in 2009 and regulate the General Law on the subjects of health licensing; packaging and labeling; advertising,  promotion and sponsorship; restrictions on public smoking; and enforcement authorities and sanctions, among others. 

In December 2009, the Secretary of Health issued an agreement making public the provisions for the formulation, approval, application, utilization, and incorporation of legends, images, pictograms, health messages, and information which must appear on all tobacco product packages and all their outside packaging and labeling (agreement dated December 24, 2009).  Notwithstanding FCTC Article 5.3 requiring Parties to protect their public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry, these obligatory provisions resulted from an agreement between the Ministry of Health and the tobacco industry, and were issued pursuant to the Secretary’s authority under the General Law on Tobacco Control and the Regulations of the General Law on Tobacco Control.  Several additional agreements have been issued establishing subsequent rounds of health warnings – (1) agreement dated May 9, 2011; (2) agreement dated July 23, 2012; (3) agreement dated November 30, 2012 (and a subsequent clarification of the agreement dated March 22, 2013); (4) agreement dated January 3, 2014; and (5) agreement dated August 18, 2014.

Review Status

This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.

Last updated: November 5th 2014
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