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Mexico tightens ban on smoking in public places: Time for Ireland to follow suit.

  • 15-01-2023 5:07pm
    Registered Users Posts: 12,048 ✭✭✭✭

    Mexico has brought into force one of the world's strictest anti-tobacco laws by enacting a total ban on smoking in public places.

    The step, which was first approved in 2021, also includes a ban on tobacco advertising.

    Several other Latin American countries have also passed legislation to create smoke-free public spaces.

    However, Mexico's legislation is considered to be the most robust and wide-ranging in the Americas.

    It amounts to one of the most stringent anti-smoking laws in the world. Mexico's existing 2008 law - which created smoke-free spaces in bars, restaurants and workplaces - is now extended to an outright ban in all public spaces. That includes parks, beaches, hotels, offices and restaurants.

    There will also be a total ban on the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products, meaning that cigarettes cannot even be on show inside shops.

    Vapes and e-cigarettes are also subject to tighter new restrictions, particularly indoors.

    The Pan American Health Organisation has welcomed the step and applauded the Mexican government for implementing the ban.

    The organisation says that tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the world, responsible for nearly a million deaths in the Americas each year, either through direct consumption or exposure to second-hand smoke.

    However, some smokers are dismayed at the draconian nature of the new law.

    In essence, it means that many will only be allowed to smoke in their homes or other private residences.

    Others have raised questions about the practicalities of enforcing the law.

    With police corruption so rampant in Mexico, many fear that rather than issuing real fines or punishments for smoking in public, some officers will use it as a pretext for taking bribes.

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    The bulk of that seeming like such a severe change is that it's doing things we did two decades ago - ban on ads, ban on smoking in restaurants, ban on display in shops.

    Parks, beaches and smoking rooms in hotels (legal but exceptionally uncommon here) are the only differences

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,763 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    What do you think yourself OP?

    Should we follow Russia, Thailand and Mexico those bastions of democracy ?

    I think we might be better off to bide our time and see what our EU neighbours come up with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭thinkabouit

    Government taking more people’s privileges away. All for your own good of course.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,707 ✭✭✭Bobblehats

    They’ll be smokin each other instead

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,206 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    Arguments like personal responsibility and choice and smoking outdoors being harmless to others are all fine, but they’re completely irrelevant as to whether a ban on smoking in public places should be considered by Government in order to prevent the enormous costs of providing healthcare for smoking related illnesses and conditions in the general population.

    I don’t know would health warnings on bottles of wine do anything, it couldn’t hurt anyways, much like the health warnings and plain packaging on tobacco products doesn’t appear to have done anything, but it doesn’t hurt. I just don’t take any notice of them any more, unless they’re particularly novel. Some of them are genuinely intriguing, but do nothing to diminish my enjoyment of a cigarette or the occasional cigar.

    The initiative in Mexico does seem a bit misplaced though, but maybe it’s because I lump Mexicans and Cubans all into the one boat 🤔

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,655 ✭✭✭Gregor Samsa

    Can’t even enjoy a fag after dumping the tortured bodies of your enemies on the beach any more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 972 ✭✭✭Stephen_Maturin

    Actually the amount of tax taken by the government on tobacco each year far outweighs the costs of smoking related illnesses

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

  • Registered Users Posts: 316 ✭✭Shank Williams

    Yeah they’re great at enforcing laws in Mexico I hear

  • Registered Users Posts: 821 ✭✭✭mazdamiatamx5

    Oh please. To set as an example to follow the country in the world most severely impacted by drug cartel related violence is the height of absurdity. No-one ever went out and shot a bunch of folk after smoking a ciggie.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,763 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    Some really nice old pubs don't have space for a smoking area.

    This leaves smokers with little option but outside the door.

    While not ideal the amount of damage done to your health by passing by a few people smoking in the open air is minimal.

    In the course of a night out the drinks consumed, the cosy open fire in the pub and the traffic fumes in the street probably pose more risk.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 37,898 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,472 ✭✭✭✭osarusan

    The arguments about Mexico's obvious drug problem don't really make sense. Lawmakers can do more than one thing at a time. Should Mexico not passs any other law until they've solved their drug problem (which will never happen)?

    Uncoupling it from the irrelevant 'but what about drugs' argument, what is the issue with this law?

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,206 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    And if the benefits in taxation were the only consideration, you’d have an absolute cracker of a point, and the Government should encourage people to take up smoking so they would gain even more in taxation, because it would outweigh the cost of providing healthcare for smoking related illnesses.

    It’s flawless logic, except for the fact that the Government’s imperative is to improve the health of the population and reduce the cost of healthcare. The reduction in taxes isn’t quite the reason not to implement and fund anti-smoking policies and programs that you think it should be.

    Now if you were to argue that Government should tax the absolute hell out of vaping products, I’d be right there with you. Fcuking kiddy smokes them things, they’re everywhere 🙄

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,151 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 972 ✭✭✭Stephen_Maturin

    I actually didn’t say anything about any of that. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    You brought up the costs to the healthcare system derived from smoking related illnesses. I simply pointed out that tobacco excise covers smoking related healthcare costs numerous times over. Which it does.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I was a strong and committed smoker for many years, and think this is a great idea tbh. I was in Japan a few years ago, and noticed that no one smoked on the streets. There was an area (usually down a side street beside a 711 convenience shop) where you could have a cigarette. It struck a balance between allowing people who want to pay a company money to buy a product that causes cancer to use that product, while not bothering the 85%+ of the population who don't partake to go about their day without having to smell it.

    I'd be in favour of something similar in Ireland. No smoking on streets or public areas (even outside pubs), but a small "zone" where death stick users can puff away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,206 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    I’m not putting words in your mouth, but if you want to go down that route, please point out where I said anything about revenue collected from taxation on tobacco products. I’ll save you the trouble - I didn’t. What I did mention, was the enormous cost of providing healthcare for smoking related illnesses.

    The amount of revenue generated from the sales of tobacco products is irrelevant, and whether or not it ‘covers’ the cost of providing healthcare for smoking related illnesses is irrelevant, because the Irish taxation system just doesn’t work like that. Another example is the more recent sugar tax -

    A spokesperson for the Department of Finance, however, told that there is no plan to ringfence funding raised by the tax for initiatives targeted at reducing obesity in the Irish public.

    The spokesperson said: “The Department of Health is responsible for developing an evaluation framework for the sugar tax, which will provide evidence on the efficacy of the tax from a public health perspective.

    “Hypothecation (or the ring-fencing of taxes for specific and related purposes) is not a feature of the Irish tax system in general.

    Revenue generated from taxation on luxury foods outweighs the cost of providing healthcare for obesity related illnesses too, and Government still doesn’t ringfence off the revenue generated from higher VAT rates on luxury foods to fund obesity prevention programs and so on. The justification you’re offering, that it brings in revenue from tobacco sales, is simply irrelevant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,472 ✭✭✭✭osarusan

    As somebody who lived in Japan for more than a decade, they have quite a different approach to Ireland.

    Whereas we're all about legislating for indoors, they are more about legislating for outdoors. The idea being that while you can choose to enter this restauarant (where smoking is allowed) or that restaurant (where smoking is not allowed), people can't choose who they share the streets with, so smoking should be forbidden in such locations.

    Post edited by osarusan on

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    For me that would have been a big help when I was giving up the smokes, the smell drove me mad from others smoking around the place and not because I thought it smelled bad far from it, and that was the problem. Years off the fupping things and I still like the smell. The smell of the vapes though are just gag inducing though and how they haven't put controls in place for their sale to kids is a massive failure imo.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Yes, it was a bit of a culture shock and thanks for confirming it. Smoking on the street was a real no-no, but you could rock up to one of those cheap salaryman pubs and smoke away to your heart's content.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,632 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    That quoted figure does not include the full costs of smoking. It doesn’t include private healthcare, nursing home care, GP care, enforcement costs, cleanup costs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,206 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    This study from 2016 gives a rough estimate of the economic cost of smoking in Ireland -

    Pg. 21 Summary of costs of smoking 2013:

    Total cost of smoking - €1.6Bn

    Total loss of welfare due to smoking related morbidity and mortality - €9Bn

    Stephen’s figures were only off by a couple of billion 😒

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  • Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭Get Real

    On the subject of smoking bans, which I fully support, one thing has intrigued me.

    In the USA they still have the old style attractive packaging with no warnings (bar small writing on the side if the box) displays are legal, in store display and adverts are legal, money off coupons and discounted prices are legal, deals for buying 2 packs together etc.

    In some states, you can still light up in bars and have a smoke with a beer indoors.

    Yet, according to the CDC, their nationwide smoking rate is 12.5%. Find it interesting that it's lower than ours of c20%, given the more lax examples of control above.