Mexico's Radical New Anti-Smoking Law: What Travel Agents and Tourists Need to Know

As a travel agent, it is essential to keep up with the latest regulations and laws affecting your clients' destinations. One such recent development is Mexico's radical new anti-smoking law, which took full effect on January 15th, 2023, and bans smoking in virtually all public places, including parks, beaches, hotels, and restaurants.

The law, endorsed by the World Health Organization, is one of the most comprehensive tobacco restrictions in the world. It also includes a ban on advertising and promotion of tobacco products, making it illegal to have tobacco products on your person in public places, and banning vapes and e-cigarettes indoors.

As a travel agent, you must disclose this law to any clients visiting Mexico either on a resort stay or a cruise vacation. You should advise them never to take a tobacco product or vape off the ship or into a resort. If your clients are smokers or vapers, it is best to advise them well in advance so they can choose another destination or cruise itinerary.

It is important to note that the penalty for being caught 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. Business owners that allow smoking on their property can also face fines of up to $40,000.

While enforcement of the law remains a concern, it is essential to ensure that your clients are aware of the regulation and understand the consequences of non-compliance. You may want to advise your clients in writing and obtain their signatures on the written disclosure.

In summary, Mexico's new anti-smoking law is a significant development that travel agents must keep in mind while planning their clients' vacations to the country. It is your responsibility to ensure that your clients are aware of the law and its implications, as non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and potential imprisonment. By keeping your clients informed and providing guidance, you can help them have a safe and enjoyable trip to Mexico.