No Smoking Means No Smoking in Mexico!
- Last Updated: March 22, 2023 by Roxanna Brock McDade
Whenever planning to visit another country, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the laws and ordinances that can affect you while there. For example, if you’re driving to Mexico, you need a driver’s license (U.S. or Canadian is accepted), valid auto insurance from a Mexican insurer, proof of registration, and an FMM migratory form (and a vehicle importation permit if driving beyond the free zone).
Another important law to be aware of, if you plan to visit Mexico, is the new federal ban on smoking (and vaping) in public.
The push to end smoking in public places began in May of 2008 when The General Law for Control of Tobacco was put in place. It was later augmented in February 2022, and then heavily modified in December 2022. The final changes took effect on January 15, 2023, making it—for the most part—illegal to smoke in public.
The Mexican government’s goal with these laws is to dramatically reduce the consumption of tobacco products, particularly among youths. As well, they wish to eliminate the risks associated with second-hand smoke in the country.
As a tourist, you are subject to those same laws, and enforcement is expected to be quite strict. Severe sanctions will be enforced against any business or property owner allowing these new laws to be broken. And fines against individuals who do not comply can range from $20,744 to $2,074,400 pesos (roughly $1,150 to $109,000 U.S. dollars), depending upon the severity of the violation. In addition to the fine, the law allows for offenders to be arrested for up to 36 hours.
Where, exactly, is smoking prohibited in Mexico?
Below are specific places where you absolutely are NOT allowed to smoke.
- Event venues
- Lodging quarters in hotels or other lodging facilities, including any areas accessible to the general public or for common use
- Patios, terraces, or balconies accessible to the public
- Amusement parks
- Play areas where children or adolescents are present or may congregate
- Public parks
- Sports facilities
- Show and entertainment centers
- Fields, stadiums, and arenas
- Shopping malls
- Hospitals, health centers, and medical clinics
- Places of religious worship
- Places where food or drink are served or consumed
- Transportation stops
- Public transport
- Government offices
- Public areas of prisons or detention centers
Are all lodging types included in the ban?
It’s important to know there are no longer any “smoking allowed” hotel rooms. And, the smoking ban applies to All short-term lodging, which includes hotel/motel rooms, VRBOs, Airbnb’s, and the like. Smoking is allowed, however, in long-term rentals, like a rented home or apartment.
What outdoor spaces can I smoke in?
Smoking is prohibited in any area accessible to the public unless an area that’s specifically designated for smoking. The requirements for designated smoking areas are incredibly restrictive. The area must be totally open, with no walls or roof. It also must be a minimum of 10 meters from all doorways or pathways used by the public, and clearly posted.
No minors, persons under the age of 18, are allowed in smoking zones. And smoking areas must have a sign warning anyone who may be pregnant or suffering from any sort of respiratory ailment that there may be smoke present.
Can I smoke in my car?
Like many government documents, there are some portions of the law that are a bit vague – and may therefore be subject to varying interpretations by different officials. There doesn’t appear to be a limit on smoking in your own private vehicle. It’s hard to know how the stipulations prohibiting minors in authorized smoking areas, and the requirement to post warning signage about the presence of smoke, could be interpreted regarding a private vehicle. Best to err on the side of caution. If you have passengers in your car, keep this in mind. If concern for your passengers’ health isn’t enough, keep the potential $109,000 USD fine and a day and a half in jail in mind, too.
Remember all sidewalks, bars, restaurants, and shops, as well as all workspaces, are smoke-free. Punishment can be a simple warning, or can be escalated to a fine, arrest, or both.
Be prepared by being informed. Investigate any issues which may affect your visit to another country, to assure yourself of an enjoyable, complication-free visit. We have answers on our website, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to email us and we’ll try to get your questions answered ASAP.
Mexico is a beautiful country, rich in history and culture. We at Mexpro want you to have the peace of mind that allows you to thoroughly enjoy your visit to Mexico. We regularly share helpful information for tourists visiting Mexico. As a starting point, here are 6 crucial things for tourists to have before entering Mexico.