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Import Ban For Mexico

Mexico has announced a ban on the importation of vape products despite doing nothing to combat smoking and the corruption surrounding it

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The Mexican government has announced a ban on the importation of vape products to accompany its 2008 ban on the sale of devices and equipment. It relies on THC-related problems in the USA and statements from the World Health Organisation to justify the move, but isn’t doing anything about tobacco consumption or the corruption surrounding it.

El Universal reports: “By presidential decree published in the Official Gazette of the Federation as of this Thursday, February 20, the importation of electronic cigarettes is prohibited in order to protect the Mexican population from heavy metals and other substances contained therein, as reported by the Secretariats of Health and Economy.”

It claims there has been an “increase in patients with lung lesions due to the use of electronic cigarettes that are used for the so-called ‘vaping’ or inhalation of nicotine or other chemical substances.”

The Mexican government states there has been "more than 200 documented cases of patients with severe lung injury, related to the use of electronic cigarettes, mostly teenagers and young adults.”

The government says the sale of vape products has been illegal in Mexico since 2008, odd considering vaping didn’t happen in the country then, and has added the importation ban “to prevent illegal trade practices of such products.”

The government has created all manner of acronyms to describe vaping:

  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (SEAN)
  • Electronic systems without nicotine (SSSN|)
  • Alternative Nicotine Consumption Systems (SACN)

It claims vaping “may contain levels of toxic substances and carcinogenic compounds, sometimes higher than those of traditional tobacco cigarettes.”

The government says 938,000 Mexican teenagers have tried vaping, 160,000 vape regularly, and says it “represents the entrance door to addiction”.

It’s curious that the Mexican government is so keen to address fictitious vape problems given the genuine problems lying unsolved.

Mexico facts:

  • The country averages 95 murders per day
  • Homicides have been on the rise since 2014
  • Four times as many people are killed in 2018 compared to 2007
  • Extortion, money laundering, human trafficking, people smuggling and contract killings are rife
  • The government uses spyware to monitor the civilian population [link]
  • The government is blocking its own anti-corruption investigation [link]
  • 15119 metric tons of tobacco were produced in Mexico in 2014
  • Over 35 billion cigarettes were consumed in Mexico In 2015
  • 43,000 Mexicans die each year from smoking-related diseases
  • 100,000 patients demand healthcare services each year to treat tobacco-related illnesses
  • The Mexican tobacco market will be worth approximately £3.5 billion in 2022

If the President was seriously concerned about citizens lungs, it might want to combat a real and present danger – pollution. Last year, residents of Mexico City DF were told to stay indoors due to a yellow haze covering the capital. [link]

Fingers can be pointed squarely at the major international tobacco companies for feeding the corrupt action. They dominate 99% of the Mexican market, with a Philip Morris International subsidiary holding a 66% market share, British American Tobacco with 26.3%, and Japan Tobacco with 7.4%.

Open Democracy refers to the Mexican tobacco market as a “corrupt system”, it comments: “While Mexican authorities pretend to be complying with the international treaty promoted by the World Health Organisation, very little has actually been done to meet two fundamental principles of the agreement: the reduction of tobacco consumption and exposure to smoke.”


  • Presidential decree in the Diario Oficial de la Federacíon – [link]

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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