Monday, November 29

Supreme Court of Mexico rejects legal veto on vapers and electronic cigarettes

The Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico declared unconstitutional the absolute legal prohibition of electronic cigarettes, and will approve jurisprudence that may lead to federal judges authorizing the importation and sale of vapers, vetoed in that country by Executive decree since February 2020.

According to a note published by the newspaper Reforma, which bears the journalist’s signature Victor Fuentes, the Plenary of the Court toclarified a thesis contradiction between its two Chambers on the validity of Article 16 of the General Law for Tobacco Control, that prohibits “any object that is not a tobacco product”, but that is identifiable with it.
Seven of the eleven Ministers resolved that this absolute prohibition violates the rights of equality, freedom of trade and free development of the personality, since the law does allow the sale of cigarettes, but not of other products or similar devices, which may be less harmful to health.

The jurisprudence does not repeal the Executive prohibition decreeTherefore, those interested in importing and selling vapers will have to continue litigating amparos against them, and several ministers urged Congress to issue differentiated legislation for electronic cigarettes in all its forms.

President Arturo Zaldívar and your colleague Norma Pineapple, they highlighted that the Court has already declared unconstitutional and eliminated the absolute prohibition of adult consumption of cannabis, which is a psychotropic, while vapers use nicotine or other substances that are not narcotics are still prohibited.

It is an absolute prohibition that does not distinguish harmful products from those that are not, or to a lesser degree, although the risk varies considerably depending on its characteristics, its manufacture or who consumes it, “he said. Zaldívar.

“There is a very wide freedom to carry out any action that does not harm third parties,” added Piña, alluding to the free development of the personality, ironing that the prohibition of the law is so broad that it can even cover chocolate cigarettes.

“The State lacks the legitimacy to prohibit fully capable adults who, under conditions of adequate rationality, decide the relative consumption, and freely assume the cost that it may entail for their health or life,” said Piña.

Margarita Ríos-Farjat, who had not commented on the issue, said that the legal prohibition would have to be direct on vapers, as such, and not because they are similar to tobacco, so he reserved his opinion for when Congress legislates on the matter .

The majority eliminated the criterion of the Second Chamber which, in November 2020, in order to preventively protect the right to health, resolved that the only thing that can be allowed is the sale of tobacco heaters, but not electronic cigarettes or vapers who use other types of substances.

As a result of this criterion, the Executive reformed its prohibition decree last July, only to authorize the import and sale of heaters as IQOS and Eclipse, from the tobacco companies Philip Morris y RJ Reynolds.

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