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Mexico Bans Vapes

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has signed legislation banning the importation or sale of electronic cigarettes

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has signed legislation banning the importation or sale of electronic cigarettes. From a point where importation was already prohibited, banning sales leaves Mexican smokers being forced to seek unregulated vapes on the black market if they wish to used nicotine but reduce their harm exposure.

Dr Roberto Sussman, a harm reduction expert based at the University of Mexico said the ban has come about due to a “very aggressive campaign” by “de facto” Health Minister Dr Hugo López Gatell. He says López Gatell has been making outrageous claims about vaping including ecigs being “lethal and deadly devices that kill people… all vaping is EVALI and EVALI is still going on”.

Dr Sussman is worried that as Mexico is an important country in Latin America, its stance taken on tobacco harm reduction and vaping could hold a lot of sway over the other countries on the continent.

López Gatell hasn’t been backwards in coming forwards with an alternative take on what independent evidence confirms. Vaping is safer than smoking, this is almost a universally accepted truth, and most experts agree that it is at least 95% safer than tobacco – but not the Health Minister. He says that all claims of relative safety are “a big lie” created and spread by “the industry”.

President López Obrador repeated his minister’s lies, saying: “The vapours are also harmful for health, look at the colour, the design!”

Pretty compelling argument.

Well, it was a pretty compelling argument for the World Health Organisation: “Every year, the World Health Organisation recognises individuals or organisations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards.”

Who lifted a WHO award last week?

President López Obrador received the WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award (presumably for services to lying and ignorance).

Smoking has been banned in a whole host of places around Mexico, but like the other countries that have adopted an exceptionally skewed view on tobacco control, cigarettes remain on sale while the safer alternative is now banned.

Typical of some parts of the region, vape imports and exports were already banned but companies ignored the legislation. So, in order to address the problem, López Obrador has made a new law that makes vaping twice as banned as before.

An industry spokesperson has said this measure places teens at risk as they will now access unregulated products through illegal channels, something that proves the government now has a complete lack of control.

Philip Morris International’s Andrea Constantini said: “The decision must be made based on scientific evidence, not on dogma or ignorance about the alternatives. It is essential to regulate alternative tobacco products, so that quality products are available to adults who already smoke, while protecting minors and people who do not smoke.”

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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