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June 2, 2022

Mexico Prohibits Vape Sales by Presidential Decree

Mexico will ban sales of all vaping and heated tobacco products, by decree of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The president signed the order in a ceremony held during a press conference Tuesday.

The presidential decree was announced to coincide with World No Tobacco Day, the annual World Health Organization (WHO) celebration of tobacco control efforts. A WHO representative was on hand to give the Mexican president an award in “recognition of his leadership and unwavering support to strengthen tobacco control measures in Mexico.”

The presidential order prohibits “the circulation and commercialization within the United Mexican States…regardless of origin, of electronic nicotine administration systems, similar systems without nicotine, electronic cigarettes, vaporizing devices with similar uses, as well as solutions and mixtures used in these systems,” according to Mexican news site Paudal.

Vaping360 has been unable to find a published version of the decree, so it is unknown if it also bans personal possession and use. The Mexican Supreme Court previously ruled that an earlier ban on vapes and heated tobacco products was unconstitutional, so it’s possible this one could be successfully challenged too.

In early 2020, López Obrador issued a decree banning imports of vaping products. Like the newly announced sales ban, the 2020 import ban was largely supported by claims of unproven dangers promoted by the WHO’s Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded tobacco control organizations.

Justification for the earlier ban also leaned heavily on fears surrounding the poorly understood U.S. “EVALI” outbreak, which was caused by black market THC oil vape cartridge manufacturers that used dangerous vitamin E acetate to boost profits, and had nothing to do with nicotine vaping.

The new sales ban has also been predicated on unproven health threats. In May, the Mexican Federal Commission for the Protection Against Health Risks issued a WHO-style “maximum health alert” concerning the “high degree of harm” posed by e-cigarettes.

“It is a lie that the new products, the vapers, are an alternative to cigarettes and today they present propaganda that indicates that what is harmful is burning tobacco, smoke, but that is false,” said deputy health minister Hugo López Gatell at the press conference.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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