As part of its tough anti-tobacco legislation, Mexico has banned smoking in public places completely.
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Mexican authorities have issued new regulations and are aggressively enforcing those already in place to curb smoking in public places.
Earlier this week, Mexico City’s government announced that it would enforce the 2008 law designating certain public spaces (including bars, restaurants, and workplaces) as smoke-free zones. The new laws impose a complete ban in all public spaces which includes parks, beaches, hotels, offices, and restaurants. This means that people will be restricted to their homes, if they want to smoke.
The new law also forbids advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco products, which means that these products cannot even be displayed inside shops.
Additionally, there are stricter new regulations for vapes and e-cigarettes, especially indoors.
Many fear that because police corruption is so prevalent in Mexico, some officers may take bribes instead of fining or punishing people for smoking in public.
Mexico ratified the landmark WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2004. It was the first nation in the Americas to do so.
The Pan American Health Organisation heaped praise on the Mexican authorities for imposing the ban.
According to the organisation, “Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the world today, killing nearly one million people in the Americas each year, either through direct consumption or exposure to second-hand smoke. It accounts for 15% of deaths from cardiovascular disease, 24% of deaths from cancer, and 45% of deaths from chronic respiratory disease.”
A section of citizens, mainly consisting of tobacco consumers, expressed their discomfort and termed the laws as “draconian in nature”. According to them these restrictions are transgressing their rights of liberty and freedom.
Mexico’s smoking ban is one of the world’s stringent smoking bans.
Recently, New Zealand announced the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan. As part of the plan, under-14-year-olds will not be able to legally buy tobacco by the end of next year, and this age will rise each year so that younger generations will never be able to buy tobacco.
What is the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control?
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is the first treaty negotiated under WHO auspices. The WHO FCTC affirms the right of everyone to the highest standard of health. The WHO FCTC represents a paradigm shift in developing a regulatory strategy to address addictive substances; in contrast to previous drug control treaties, the WHO FCTC asserts the importance of demand reduction strategies as well as supply issues.
The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The spread of the tobacco epidemic is facilitated through a variety of complex factors with cross-border effects, including trade liberalization and direct foreign investment. Other factors such as global marketing, transnational tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and the international movement of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes have also contributed to the explosive increase in tobacco use.
The objective of this historic convention is to, “protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke by providing a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented by the Parties at the national, regional and international levels in order to reduce continually and substantially the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.”
The WHO FCTC opened for signature on 16 June to 22 June 2003 in Geneva, and thereafter at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Depositary of the treaty, from 30 June 2003 to 29 June 2004. There are 168 signatories to the treaty, which is now closed for signature, including the European Community, making it one of the most widely accepted in UN history. By signing the Convention, member states indicate that they will strive for ratification, acceptance, or approval of the project, as well as a political commitment not to undermine its goals.
Smoking ban in India
According to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, “1 million Indians die each year because of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke, a number trending toward 1.5 million by 2020. Smoking currently costs India $1.2 million USD for the treatment of tobacco-related illness each year.”
In 2005, India ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA) is the primary national tobacco control law. Those powers were granted to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which has since amended, clarified, and expanded COTPA in over 15 notifications.
According to this law, “An Act to prohibit the advertisement of, and to provide for the regulation of trade and commerce in, and production, supply and distribution of, cigarettes and other tobacco products and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
Recently, India imposed a ban on e-cigarettes.
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