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2010-03-15: Mexico City DF: Smoke-free City Case Study

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The Union Releases Mexico DF: Smoke-free City Case Study

A new publication released by the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease describes the key components behind the development and implementation of Mexico City’s successful smoke-free law. The publication, Mexico DF: Smoke-free City Case Study, provides an overview of how Mexico City developed and implemented its smoke-free law and identifies key factors leading to the smoke-free campaign’s success.

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and has a population of 8.8 million people. In February 2008, Mexico City passed a strong and comprehensive smoke-free law prohibiting smoking in all enclosed workplaces including offices, shops, factories, restaurants, bars, hospitals, public buildings, etc. The law came into effect April 3, 2008 and, to date, compliance appears high.

Success Factors
· Strong political leadership and support was cultivated at all stages of the legislative process. Political “champions” actively participated in the legislative process, worked closely with tobacco control advocates, and became the spokespeople for the smoke-free campaign.

· NGOs established a united front under the coalition Mexican Council Against Tobacco (CMCT). Under CMCT, NGOs were able to discuss joint strategies, coordinate messaging, organize events, and facilitate lobbying.

· Effective paid and earned media campaigns carried out before and after implementation were crucial in increasing public awareness, support, and overall compliance.

· Timely country-specific research reinforced the need for a comprehensive smoke-free law, refuted arguments raised during debates about the law, and documented strong public support for the law.

· Direct engagement and training programs for workplaces raised awareness and supported compliance among businesses.

· The short time between the passage of the law and its implementation made it difficult for the tobacco industry or other opponents to react or coordinate their response effectively.

· Adequate funding and technical support was provided to the government and NGOs to support campaign activities.

· Of critical importance, the law was simple, clearly written, and fair making it easier to enforce.

Key Messages
· Strong and comprehensive smoke-free laws can be implemented quickly and successfully.

· Strong political leadership, coordinated advocacy efforts, effective public education campaigns, and pertinent research are essential to the development and implementation of a successful 100% smoke-free law.

Full publication available in English from:

Full publication available in Spanish from:

If you have questions about the study or how you may use it in your advocacy efforts, please contact Miranda Wang at or Jonathan Romo at