Mexico announces a ban on vapers and electronic cigarettes

Within the framework of World No Tobacco Day, the Mexican federal government announced that it will sign a decree that will prohibit the circulation and commercialization of vapers and electronic cigarettes.

The announcement was made by the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell this May 31, during the press conference of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“The president will sign this new decree that prohibits not only the import and export but also the import and export of these harmful products within the Republic,” he said.

At the same time, the epidemiologist, who recently represented Mexico before the World Health Organization (WHO), pointed out that there is no dose of tobacco that is not harmful to health, nor any form of administration that can be beneficial.

“The new tobacco products such as vapers and electronic cigarettes are harmful products, they cause multiple diseases (…) they are probably more harmful than conventional products,” said the undersecretary.

During the conference, López-Gatell pointed out that there was misinformation and development in the tobacco industry around the issue:

“The big lie is that vapers and cigarettes are less harmful, (…) but this is false, vapors are harmful to health, and not only that, the second lie is that they suggest that products are a useful measure to quit smoking, there is evidence that these induce tobacco consumption”, he said.

The main motivation for issuing the decree, according to the undersecretary, originated from the addiction and health damage caused by tobacco consumption. He added that the new products are relevant to the tobacco industry given the decrease in tobacco consumption in different parts of the world.

At the same time, he assured that “the tobacco industry threatens children with new products”, since, according to the official, they are designed to be attractive to children.

“They are doing it in an open and rude way but also disguised with misleading speech because the products are designed to attract the attention of children.”

With this, he explained that this not only occurs from advertising, but also with the design of flavored products. According to the authorities, the main alerts on vapers and electronic cigarettes are:

-Increase the probability of smoking tobacco

-Accelerates the possibility of an addiction

-Generate contamination by direct exposure

The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks ( Cofepris ) issued a maximum health alert and explained that there is no evidence that vapers are a less harmful alternative:

“Its derivatives of carcinogenic compounds, toxic substances, and aerosol emissions represent a serious risk for those who consume it,” he said in a statement.

In the text, Cofepris warned how the inhalation of an excipient frequently found in vaping devices called vitamin E acetate constitutes a high risk to health, as it is a toxic substance that can cause acute respiratory diseases and even death.

“No vaper or tobacco heater has health authorization, nor recognition by the Ministry of Health (SSa) as reduced or alternative risk products”, he said.

Currently, about 15 million people in Mexico are smokers.

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