The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice has ruled that the presidential decree banning the sale of electronic cigarettes is unconstitutional.
The court’s Second Chamber ruled by three votes in favour that the decree is contrary to the right to freedom of commerce.
Alberto Gómez Hernández, policy manager of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented:
“We welcome the decision of the National Supreme Court of Justice.
“The decree violates the right to freedom of trade of the companies, but also the right to health and the free development of the personality of Mexican adults.
“Mexicans should be free to decide how they consume nicotine.”
The declaration of unconstitutionality was carried out in an Amparo lawsuit – a type of lawsuit in Mexico through which a company can seek legal protection or permission not to abide by regulation that violates its rights.
The general ban will stay in place since the ruling applies only to that specific case and business, yet it shows that even Mexico’s highest instance of justice agrees with its unconstitutionality.
On this, Gómez Hernández added:
“Although the ruling does not establish jurisprudence, we hope that the government or the judiciary will reverse the ban soon.
“The ban has failed, it has aggravated the public health problem of smoking in Mexico and has created a huge black market controlled by mafias”.
Smoking causes more than 40,000 deaths a year in Mexico, where there are still almost 15 million smokers.
“Mexico needs to abandon the ban and adopt a strategy that includes the use of less harmful nicotine products as a smoking cessation tool.
“It should follow the example of Sweden, which is about to become the first smoke-free country, and the UK, which promotes the use of vapes to quit smoking,” Gómez Hernández concluded.