Vaping is gaining support in the United States as politicians and the community gain more education on the industry. Unfortunately, Mexican lawmakers have choked the industry, allowing traditional nicotine products to flourish as a monopoly. If you’re considering a vacation or an expatriation, there are some things you should consider before vaping in Mexico.
Is Vaping Legal in Mexico?
The short answer: yes. There are currently no restrictions regarding the USE of electronic cigarettes in Mexico. However, there are very strict restrictions regarding the sale, trade, distribution, production, and promotion of any non-tobacco products, including vape products (General Tobacco Control Law, Article 16 ). Though the laws were introduced to regulate the sale of candy cigarettes, vaping has been lumped in with these non-tobacco products. These early restrictions have repressed vaping in Mexico, and have contributed to the lack of scientific research towards vaping in Mexico. Commissioner of the Cofrepis Health Operation, Alvaro Perez Vega, stated, “They are products that have not been confirmed anywhere in the world to have the necessary safety, quality, and effectiveness to replace the use of tobacco, but unfortunately people believe they are a viable means to stop smoking when no evidence for that exists.”
If it is illegal to purchase or sell vape supplies in Mexico, why are they sold in local shops? Just as the United States has distinctions between Federal, State, and municipal laws, Mexican states have some authority within the boundaries of that state’s borders. But federal law still reigns supreme and in one case in early 2015, Mexican health authorities closed two establishments in the capital, seizing over 9,000 electronic cigarettes. Because the Mexican Federal Government holds absolute authority over international imports, Mt Baker Vapor is unable to ship electronic cigarette supplies to our southern neighbors at this time.
Please note: Although many tourists have crossed the border without any complications, there have been reports of authorities confiscating electronic cigarette for various reasons, so vape at your own risk. We are not the ultimate legal authority and are only offering suggestions. Vapers should consult with an attorney, the United States Department or a Mexican consulate for any clarification. Always remember to turn off and lock your equipment while traveling! Use your best judgment, and always err on the side of caution.
Although you are legally allowed to vape while in Mexico, imports of electronic cigarettes are strictly prohibited. To avoid confiscation of your equipment, we recommend you bring only enough supplies to cover your visit. If you have an extreme amount of e-liquid or hardware, this may give the authorities the impression of illegal vape trafficking.
When flying, we recommend the disassembly of all components of your equipment. Once disassembled, bag and store each part separately. Rising air pressure can cause leakage, so it is wise to drain your tank of any e-liquid before departure. Batteries are considered a fire hazard, so the TSA demands that all external batteries or mods with built-in batteries be stored in your carry-on or on your person. Follow the TSA 3-1-1 carry-on rule regarding e-juice bottle size and proper storage techniques.