Global Epidemic



  • Approximately 16 percent (10.9 million adults) of the population 15 years of age and older smokes. Almost 25 percent of men and 8 percent of women smoke.
  • Among youth (age 13-15) in Mexico City, over 27 percent smoke cigarettes with little difference between genders (boys 26 percent; girls 27 percent).

Health Consequences

  • An estimated 47,000 Mexicans die each year from tobacco-related diseases, which account for 10 percent of total deaths.
  • In Mexico City, 60 percent of youth (age 13-15) are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places, while 46 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

Tobacco Industry

The international tobacco companies dominate Mexico’s cigarette market, holding almost 99 percent of the market share. In 2008, Cigarros la Tabacalera Mexicana, a Philip Morris International subsidiary, held 65 percent of market share. It was followed by British American Tobacco (23 percent) and Japan Tobacco (10 percent). In 2008, over 35 billion cigarettes were sold in Mexico.

FCTC Status

Mexico ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on May 28, 2004.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke Free Places: Smoking is completely prohibited indoors only in primary and secondary schools and in federal government facilities. In all other indoor public places and workplaces, smoking areas may be provided. Several sub-national jurisdictions have enacted largely comprehensive smoke free laws.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Mexico’s law bans most means of tobacco advertising and promotion but provides an exemption for advertising and promotion aimed only at adults through adult magazines, personal communication by mail or within establishments exclusively for adult access. Publicity of tobacco sponsorship is prohibited; however, the financial contribution or in-kind support itself is not prohibited.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Rotating health warnings are required to cover at least 30 percent of the front, 100 percent of the back, and 100 percent of one side of smoked tobacco products packages. The warnings required on the front are composed of a picture and text, while the warnings required on the back contain text only. For smokeless tobacco products, a text warning is required and it must cover 100 percent of one side face. The law also prohibits misleading tobacco product packaging and labeling and requires the qualitative (descriptive) disclosure of constituents and emissions.

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Mexico are well below these recommendations.

Updated: April 2014