Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
VALDES-SALGADO, Raydel et al. Laws that ban smoking in indoor places in Mexico. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2008, vol.50, suppl.3, pp. s334-s342. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342008000900010.
Recently Mexico passed federal and state-level laws banning smoking in indoor spaces. These actions are totally in accordance with measures proposed in the WHO-FCTCs article 8, ratified by Mexico in 2004. This essay reviews scientific evidence that secondhand smoke causes both chronic and acute diseases among non smokers, children and adults. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, so the only effective intervention to protect Mexican people from such harmful exposure is by promoting 100% smoke free indoor air, as the two new laws do. Total banning of smoking is associated with reduction in smoking prevalence, amount of cigarette smoked per day, and an increase in cessation rates. Reductions in acute respiratory symptoms and hospitalization of acute myocardial infarction have been also reported. Well documented examples show that main tobacco industry arguments against smoke free policy: negative economic impact and lack of support from the public, are unjustified. These two laws strengthen the Mexican tobacco control program. Next steps include their implementation, evaluation, enforcement of compliance and encouragement for similar laws at state level.
Keywords : tobacco; legislation; tobacco smoke pollution, smoking cessation; Mexico.