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Smoking in Mexico – Details You Must Know if You Sell Mexico


A Recent Mexican Law has Changed the Law of Smoking While In Mexico


Written By: Tom Ogg, C0-Founder and Co-Owner – Travel Professional NEWS


I have just returned from a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise on board the Norwegian Joy. The cruise made 4-stops, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Ensenada. The purpose of the cruise was to see my dentist in Puerto Vallarta and to experience what changes NCL has made since the COVID pandemic.


What I found was that very few people were aware of Mexico’s smoking ban that had been in place since January, 2023. So I thought I would share what it is all about.


Mexico’s Anti-Smoking Law

On Sunday, January 15th, 2023 Mexico’s radical new anti-smoking law took full effect country wide. The law, endorsed by the World Health Organization made it illegal to smoke virtually everywhere with the exception of a private residence. This includes all public areas such as parks, beaches, squares, hotels, restaurants, resorts, schools, shopping centers, stores, entertainment venues, public streets, sightseeing venues and anywhere else other than a private home. Hotel and resort rooms are considered public property for the purposes of this law.


The law’s language also makes it illegal to have tobacco products on your person in public places.


The law also bans all types of advertising and promotion of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Basically, the net effect of the law bans smoking within the entire country of Mexico. While other countries have enacted tobacco restrictions such as Spain, Hungary and Costa Rica, Mexico’s new law is by far and away the most comprehensive.


What Does this Law Mean For Travelers?

While I was in the ports, I saw cruise passengers (presumably unaware of the law) openly smoking on the streets. I saw two couples passing a vape around while sitting in a bar in the Romantic zone of Puerto Vallarta. This clearly brings up the concept of enforcement of the law.


The penalty for being caught for smoking is unclear, but there is a cash penalty of anywhere from $300 to $500 and if one fails to  comply, they could go to jail for 36-hours. Having had a home in Punta Mita for years, I will share that I suspect that the local police see this as a huge opportunity for cruise passengers who clearly will be marked for immediate settlement since they need to get back onto the ship before it departs and will probably cough up whatever is demanded to settle the infraction on the spot.


The major enforcement will take place with the business owners that allow (knowingly or otherwise) smoking on their property. Fines for business owners can go up to $40,000. All in all, I doubt that anyone that is aware of the law will want to enjoy a smoke anywhere in Mexico.



Travel Agent Responsibilities

You must disclose this law to any clients visiting Mexico either on a resort stay or a cruise vacation. I would suggest advising them to never take a tobacco product or vape off the ship or into a resort. I suspect that if a policemen saw that you were carrying cigarettes, they would cite you and then negotiate a settlement. I would also suggest advising your clients in writing  and obtaining their signatures on the written disclosure.


If you have clients that are smokers (or vapers) you may want to advise them well in advance so that they can choose another destination or cruise itinerary.