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Iconic Mexico City street declared smoke-free

Smokers could face fines of more than 2,500 pesos for lighting up on Madero Street

As part of an effort to clean up one of Mexico City’s most iconic streets, smoking has been prohibited on Madero Street in the historic center.

The city’s Historic Center Authority has installed no-smoking signage along the length of the street where, during the first month of implementation, smokers will be asked to put out their cigarettes and will not face fines if they comply. But starting in mid-September, smokers will face fines of 896 to 2688 pesos (US $45 to $134) or mandatory community service.

City authorities have also limited the number of flyer distributors allowed on the street to 51, down from over 200, in order to prevent unnecessary crowds, and installed sanitary checkpoints for the distribution of hand gel and face masks. They will also continue to promote the Open Air City program, which encourages outdoor dining and food sales.

The general coordinator of the Historic Center Authority, Dunia Ludlow, said the agency has been working to clean up the street since last year.

“When we started, we found some common urban problems, graffiti …  Since last year we have been working with the auxiliary police and [government departments] to provide better order,” Ludlow said.

Ricardo Alemi, director of health and wellbeing for the nonprofit Refleacciona con Responsabilidad, said the goal of the smoking ban is to create a safe, healthy environment in one of the most heavily used pedestrian corridors in the country, through which up to 220,000 people pass daily.

With reports from El Sol de México

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