Residents unconvinced by Mexico's strict anti-smoking laws

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By Euronews
A woman smokes in a restaurant in Mexico City, Wednesday, April 2, 2008
A woman smokes in a restaurant in Mexico City, Wednesday, April 2, 2008   -   Copyright  Alexandre Meneghini/AP2008

Mexico has banned smoking in public spaces, extending an existing 2008 law which created smoke-free spaces in bars, restaurants and workplaces, to an outright ban in all public areas.

Enacted on Sunday, it's one of the world's strictest smoking laws, and completely prohibits tobacco consumption, including the use of e-cigarettes, in shared public areas such as hotels, parks and beaches - essentially limiting smoking in Mexico to private homes or private outdoor spaces.

The measure, which also bans the advertising or promotion of tobacco products has divided locals.

"It's both good and bad at the same time. It's good because smoking is harmful, but at the same time it's bad because you should be able to do whatever you want with your health," said one resident.

"People won't come in for drinks anymore because everyone smokes nowadays, everyone wants to smoke. So, our sales are going to go down," one waitress explained.

Reports suggest tourists who light up could face fines of between up to around €300. Those who refuse to cooperate with the ban could be jailed for up to 36 hours.