Mexico’s Senate sent to the Deputies Chamber the approved update to the Law of General Taxes of Importation and Exportation prohibiting the importation and exportation of e-cigarettes.
The prohibition includes all products that heat tobacco, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (NNDS) and alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS). The change to the law also prohibited tobacco cartridges and reconstituted tobacco used in ANDS. “Tobacco and Nicotine products are harmful for the health because they contain metallic components such as cadmium, nickel, copper, lead and aluminum, besides other substances that adversely affect the brain,” said Senator Cecilia Sánchez.
The products will no longer have the Sanitary Authority’s authorization to be produced, manufactured or imported to Mexico. Consequently, their commercialization will also be banned. Sixty-eight senators voted in favor of these changes while 39 voted against and 3 abstained. “Modifications are disproportionated, they boost counterfeiting and attempt against the principle of the free personality development,” said Senator Gustavo Madero.
In Mexico, non-smoking adolescents are more familiar with e-cigarettes than smoking adults, according to INSP. The institute adds that teenage e-cigarettes users would have hardly started nicotine consumption in any other way. INSP reports that 51 percent of surveyed adolescents in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey know about the existence of e-cigarettes. Also, 20 percent of them consider these products to be less harmful than conventional cigarettes and 10 percent said that they have tried e-cigarettes at least once. Among e-cigarette consumers, 40 percent have tried a fruit-flavored product, 21 percent have used them without any artificial flavor and 13 percent with menthol. INSP says that flavorings in e-cigarettes promote their consumption among young people. The World Bank (WB) says that some of these flavorings contain diacetyl that can cause bronchiolitis obliterans.
According to WHO, e-cigarettes are harmful particularly to children and adolescents. And although users are the most affected, those around them can also be impacted by the emissions. ENDS are highly addictive and users are twice as likely to start to smoke conventional cigarettes later in life. Furthermore, the use of ENDS could be associated with lung injuries, says WHO. E-cigarettes can also affect psychosocial health and delay the development of the brain. By 2018, 98 countries regulated e-cigarettes through national or federal laws, according to the WB. Currently, ENDS are banned in 30 countries.