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Mexico to Go Tobacco Free

VivirLatino – 26 Feb 2008

The Mexican Senate just passed the much talked about “Anti-tobacco Law”, which would make many parts of the country smoke free, and the consequences for breaking it are no joke:

The General Law for Tobacco Control will prohibit smoking in closed public spaces and violations will be punished with up to 36 hours of jail time.

In addition, fines up to the equivalent of 100 to 10,000 minimum wage days [a common way of calculating fines in Mexico] and the temporary or permanent closing of businesses violating the law will be applied. For repeat offenders, the fine can go up to 1 million pesos.

The new law establishes “100% smoke free zones” in public spaces, workplaces both public and private and universities.

Mexico’s Milenio reports that once the official bulletin is released by the government, the law will take effect in 90 days all over the republic. No Smoking signs will be visibly placed in areas where smoking is prohibited, and the government will provide a phone number where citizens can report violations of the law. In addition, business owners who wish to allow smoking in their establishments will have 180 days to modify their property to close off an area for that.

The law also establishes new regulations for tobacco-related advertising, which from now on may only appear in publications geared toward adults or in places where only adults are allowed to enter, such as bars and nightclubs.

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