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Amendments to the Regulations of the General Law on Tobacco Control

On January 15, 2023, the decree amending, adding and repealing several provisions of the Regulations of the General Law for Tobacco Control (the “Reform”) entered into force. The main purpose of this reform is to tighten restrictions on the exposure, marketing and consumption of everything related to tobacco.

This reform has been celebrated by national and international health authorities, and on the other hand, it has been strongly criticized, specifically by the tobacco industry. Dr. Tedros Adhanom (WHO Director General) points to the Reform as “such a bold move in tobacco control”. In contrast, Héctor Tejada, president of the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco), emphasizes that the application of these modifications will harm 1.5 million establishments in the country, from grocery stores to restaurants and hotels.

Some of the measures included in this reform are the following:

  1. Consumption The use of tobacco products is prohibited in restaurants and bars (even outdoors), shopping malls, beaches, parks or places where children or adolescents are present, stadiums, courts or arenas, entertainment centers, amusement parks, among others.
  2. Exclusive Zones. Exclusive smoking areas are maintained in restaurants, bars, hotels and entertainment venues; however, the Reform adds the following requirements that exclusive smoking areas must follow: (i) be located 10 meters away from the establishment’s accesses and air ducts, (ii) not to offer services of any kind in such areas (including food and beverages), and (iii) not designate more than 10% of the surface area of the establishment for these exclusive zones.
  3. Marketing restrictions. The Reform also prohibited the direct or indirect display of tobacco products in shelves, drawers, showcases and display cabinets. Now, these products should not be visible to customers in any place that sells tobacco products (including supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, etc.).


The consequences for non-compliance with the new regulations include fines ranging from 10 to 30 Unidades de Medida y Actualizacion (UMA), or approximately $1,000 to $3,100. For businesses that disregard these regulations, there will be fines, closures, and even the revocation of administrative licenses to operate.

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