A law passed on September 29 in Aguascalientes bans smoking in work places and indoor public locations.
Under the new law, anyone who allows smoking in public places can be fined with up to 4,000 times the Unit of Measure and Update, or UMA — approximately 340,000 pesos or US $17,000 — and jailed for up to 36 hours. The ban also applies to schools, health centers, libraries, public transit and other public places.
Aguascalientes is the 13th state in Mexico to pass a ban on smoking in public places.
Electronic cigarettes, whether or not they contain tobacco or nicotine, are included in the prohibition.
The law was praised by an anti-tobacco organization, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“While the new law marks a great step forward for tobacco control in Mexico, the national Congress must now follow the example of Aguascalientes and adopt a federal law that would grant all Mexican citizens 100% smoke-free environments, as is already the case in 20 countries in the region of the Americas,” the group said in a statement.
There are 210,000 smokers in Aguascalientes, representing 24.7% of the population, which makes it the state with the second-highest rate of smoking, after Mexico City, where 30.8% of people smoke. However, fewer than half of the smokers in Aguascalientes smoke regularly.
Source: El Heraldo de Aguascalientes (sp)