Mexico has banned the import and export of vaping products so do not travel with them
Once you arrive you may be able to find retailers permitted to sell vapes but most are not allowed
There are also clean air zones in effect so if you do find a vape be careful where you use it
Best practice for your safety is to avoid vaping in Mexico as even if you buy a product there, you cannot assess its quality.
Mexico is one of the most popular tourist destinations for UK holidaymakers, offering escapism, beautiful culture, delicious food, wonders of the world and of course that all-important sunny weather, but what are the rules for vapers?
If you are planning a trip to Mexico as a vaper, then there are some important things to be aware of, and you might not be thrilled with how the nation handles it’s vaping restrictions.
European nations are by-and-large very tolerant of vaping and in many cases welcoming of it, with minimal restrictions on bringing vaping devices and e-liquids into and out of different countries, and plenty of local options for staying topped up once you arrive. The wider world however is not so welcoming, and Mexico unfortunately falls into this camp.
You can explore more about the latest (2023) rules for travelling vapers in our guide. Read on however, as we explore Mexico in more detail.
“The General Law on Tobacco Control (Ley General para el Control del Tabaco, Article 16(VI)) prohibits the sale, distribution, exhibition, promotion, or manufacture of an object that imitates a tobacco product. These prohibitions are specific to nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.”
That sounds like a blanket ban, but there is evidence to suggest this is not the case. While Mexico is very firm in its stance on importation, the rules around local sale seem to fluctuate, and while the ban on sale of vaping products applies to most retailers, there are some exceptions allowed by law for specific retailers, particularly those found in tourist hot spots like Cancun.
In October 2021, the Mexican President published a decree prohibiting the importation of e-cigarettes. In February 2022, Mexico’s general law on tobacco reform was amended to regulate 100% smoke free areas and totally banned tobacco advertisement. In addition, in April 2022, the Union Congress approved a new General Import and Export Tax Law to prohibit the import and export of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
What this means for potential UK travellers heading to Mexico, is that you should not attempt to bring vaping products into the country with you. Doing so will result in seizure of the items by customs, and you could face a fine upwards of $3000, or worse you could be detained as bringing them in is tantamount to smuggling.
Once you land however, you may be able to purchase some vaping supplies form a local retailer, however you should treat these with caution – there is very little clarity on which stores are permitted and which are not, and choosing to buy from the wrong one could risk landing you in hot water, not to mention you will have little assurance that what you buy will be safe.
Can I bring Disposable Vapes To Mexico?
No – the same ban on import and export applies to single-use vapes as much as it does 10ml products and devices. If you want to travel hassle-free, leave them in the UK.
Vape Regulations In Mexico
Due to the general ban on the sale and distribution of vaping products in Mexico, there do not appear to be any regulations for their manufacture. This means that even if you are able to find a vape retailer out there, you will have a hard time knowing if they are tested for quality and safety.
They will most likely follow similar rules to the USA, with no cap on nicotine strength, but this cannot be used as a true reference, as Mexico’s lawmakers have not specified and restrictions on ingredients or safety caps on e-liquid content or nicotine strength.
The safest bet is to avoid vaping in Mexico unless you feel you are certain of a products credibility.
Where Can You Vape In Mexico?
As mentioned earlier, Mexico has enforced clean air zones across the country, which means even if you do find a reputable vape to use once you land, you must be very careful about where you start puffing.
Clean air zones are often signposted, and you should take note of this as you travel, don’t risk a fine or worse for the sake of a sneaky puff.
Resort areas are reportedly less restrictive; however, this does not mean you should abandon caution. Always respect local customs and regulations.
Can You buy Vapes in Mexico
This is where the law is particularly confusing. The law states that the sale of e-cigarettes is banned in Mexico, but their own policy acknowledges that certain exceptions for some retailers have been made.
This means that while not abundant, you might be able to find a retailer who can sell you vaping products, with anecdotal evidence suggesting stores in tourist-heavy locales are the most likely to be permitted. With that said, we have already touched on the issue of quality assurance in a country that technically has banned e-cigarettes, meaning no quality controls exist to enforce.
With over 6 years within the vaping industry, Ian has amassed a wealth of knowledge. Extending beyond e-liquids and devices, Ian understands every aspect of the vaping world, from safety and compliance to best practice and the law, to name but a few.
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