In the virtual forum “Tobacco and nicotine, fatal enemies to health”, The Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez, declared that the protection of health, especially of children and adolescents, is an ethical and legal imperative of the Mexican State, for which strict regulations are required on the sale of novel and emerging nicotine and tobacco products.

In this event called by the Senate of the Republic, he added that the accumulated scientific evidence shows that the use of electronic cigarettes or vapers cause lung damage, particularly in children and adolescents.

For these reasons, the General Law for Tobacco Control in terms of one hundred percent smoke-free and emission-free spaces. In the same way, advertising should be eliminated and plain packaging should be included as a public policy that has had successful results in other countries. Special taxes on tobacco-related products and services must also be implemented, and provisions must be in place to regulate, monitor, and sanction illicit trade.

For his part, the head of the National Commission against Addictions (Conadic), Gady Zabicky Sirot, specified that tobacco consumption has an impact on public health, therefore, he agreed on the need to update the regulatory framework to guarantee the right to health protection and comply with the international commitments acquired through the framework agreement.

The reform initiative should also consider the printing of images that cover 80 percent of neutral packaging, increase taxes on tobacco products, guarantee tobacco cessation services throughout the country, prohibit flavorings and additives that are ostensibly aimed at the young population, and ratify the protocol for the elimination of illicit trade in tobacco products.

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The head of the Conadic stressed that tobacco control has a positive impact on practically all the Sustainable Development goals set by the United Nations (UN), with a direct impact on goal 3.4 about avoiding a third of the total by 2030 premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases.

In this context, he said that “For the good of the population, mainly girls, boys and adolescents, Conadic reiterates the support and technical advice to legislators, to favor decision-making and contribute to the design and strengthening of public policies based on scientific evidence. , free of any interest rate”.

Regarding the use of electronic cigarettes, the official commented that they weaken the respiratory system by reducing the number of cells of the immune system, as well as the defense mechanism, which makes it easier for viruses, bacteria or any other microorganism to cause serious diseases.

Both officials of the Ministry of Health invited members of the Senate to discuss the initiative to modify the General Law for Tobacco Control, as a public policy that prioritizes the best interests of health above any other.