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Mexico City's New Smoke-Free Law Sets Example for Latin America and World
Date:2/27/2008

s, like Mexico City, where smoking has been considered part of the culture. Increasingly, governments are recognizing that, to effectively protect the health of their citizens, they must take action against a tobacco epidemic that the World Health Organization estimates will claim one billion lives worldwide this century unless urgent action is taken.

In addition to the Mexico City legislation, the Mexican Senate Tuesday joined the Chamber of Deputies in approving national tobacco control legislation that will establish nationwide smoking restrictions, require larger health warnings on tobacco products and restrict tobacco marketing. This legislation is an important step forward for Mexico, but it falls far short of the strong measures called for by the WHO's tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which Mexico was the first Latin American country to ratify in 2004. We urge the Mexican government to build on the legislation adopted today and to follow the lead of Mexico City's more comprehensive smoke-free legislation in implementing the national law.

There is an urgent need for action to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke around the world. Earlier this month, the WHO issued a landmark report concluding that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the world today. Tobacco use already kills 5.4 million people a year worldwide. Unchecked, that number is projected to rise to more than eight million by 2030, with more than 80 percent of these deaths in developing nations.

Nations can save hundreds of millions of lives by implementing proven tobacco control measures recommended by the WHO and other public health experts. These include comprehensive smoke-free laws; increases in tobacco taxes; large pictorial health warnings; comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships; effective tobacco cessation and education programs; and effective monitoring of tobacco
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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