Mexico bans the import of Electronic Cigarettes

By presidential decree, beginning Thursday, February 20, 2020, it will be prohibited to import electronic cigarettes to Mexico, declared as a needed health measure.

The presidential decree was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation by which the importation of electronic cigarettes will be prohibited, as part of the actions of the Government of Mexico to protect the health of Mexicans, in accordance with international commitments and fundamental right to the protection of the health of every person, provided for in article 4 of the Constitution and to prevent damage to the population is irreversible, particularly in young people.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health explained that the trade of electronic cigarettes has been banned in Mexico since May 2008, when the General Law for Tobacco Control was issued.

However, there was a need for harmonization in the regulatory framework in order to prevent illegal trade practices of these products, which is specified today with the publication of this presidential decree that, in exercise of the powers that it grants the constitutional article 131 to the President of the Republic, finally it approves the General Law of Import and Export Taxes with the aforementioned General Law for Tobacco Control.

The decree indicates the measures adopted by the Ministry of Health, through the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks ( Cofepris ), and the Ministry of Economy, to provide legal certainty to the regulatory framework that establishes the prohibition of importation of these devices.

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that Electronic Nicotine Management Systems (SEAN), better known as electronic cigarettes or vaporizing devices, Electronic Nicotine-Free Systems (SSSN) and Alternative Nicotine Consumption Systems (SACN) may contain levels of toxic substances and carcinogenic compounds, sometimes higher than those of traditional cigarettes.

Likewise, the WHO highlighted that the devices constitute a risk for the people of the environment exposed to the aerosol exhaled by the users of these devices since the solutions and mixtures used are usually dissolved in propylene glycol or glycerin, harmful elements for the heart and the lungs.

The WHO concluded that these electronic devices are undoubtedly harmful and represent a current and real threat to the general population.

In Mexico, 938,000 teenagers once tried the electronic cigarette, of which 160,000 use it regularly, a fact that alerted the Government of Mexico, as it represents the gateway to nicotine addiction.

With these actions, Cofepris and the Ministry of Economy comply with the provisions of the current legal framework, eliminating any possibility that products other than tobacco are marketed in the national territory. With this, the health of all Mexicans is protected and the Federal Government’s commitment to enforcing all the rights granted by law is ratified.