The next time you’re in Mexico and want to go out to smoke, it’s going to be much, much more difficult than before. The country has just put in place a law that prohibits smoking in all public spaces. That’s right – even outdoors.
The law took effect on January 15 and applies to places like hotels, beaches and parks – just about anywhere, in fact. The only places where you can there is still smoke in private homes or private outdoor areas, which means Mexico’s anti-smoking laws are among the strictest in the world.
And before you consider pleading ignorance as a tourist: the laws will also apply to foreign nationals. Those caught smoking could face fines of up to $300 (£240) – and, if they refuse to comply, be jailed for up to 36 hours.
This all may sound pretty extreme, but Mexico is certainly not the only country to have cracked down on smoking. Barcelona has banned smoking on the beach, while Costa Rica has banned smoking in places where other people may be exposed to second-hand smoke. Hungary also has laws prohibiting people from lighting within five meters of schools and universities.
So, could other countries follow Mexico’s example? Well, potentially. It is quite common these days to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces. Moreover, from New Zealand to the UKmany governments have embraced the idea of a smoke-free future, which means bans like Mexico’s may well become the norm.
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