Smoking-rate rise in Mexico

| December 12, 2017

Smoking rates in Mexico increased during the past five years despite campaigns, initiatives and laws aimed at discouraging tobacco use, according to a story in the Mexico News Daily citing the results of a national survey.

The 2016-2017 National Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption Survey showed that smoking prevalence among those 12 to 65 years of age rose from 17.0 percent in 2011 to 17.6 percent in 2016. During the same period, the average number of cigarettes individuals smoked each day increased from 6.5 to 7.3.

Of Mexico’s 14.9 million smokers, nearly 11.1 million are men, among whom smoking rates increased from 25.2 percent to 27.1 percent during the period studied.

There are about 3.8 million women smokers, but their proportion within the population as a whole fell from 9.3 percent to 8.7 percent.

The survey found that, on average, smokers spend 282 pesos (US$14.80) a month on their habit, with a pack of 20 cigarettes generally costing about 50 pesos (US$2.60).

Although laws banning smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars and workplaces went into effect in 2008, the survey called their effectiveness into question.

The survey found that non-smokers were exposed to the risk of passive smoking in public spaces such as bars, restaurants, public transport, schools and workplaces.

Meanwhile, the widespread flouting of a 25-year-old law designed to prevent the sale of single cigarettes is said to make smoking more financially accessible. Fifty per cent of smokers surveyed said they bought cigarettes from vendors who sold them separately, usually for about five pesos (US$0.26) each.

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Category: Breaking News, Markets, People

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