On May 31, World No Tobacco Day, the Philip Morris plant in Zapopan suspended production of its flagship Marlboro brand of cigarettes for 24 hours, in a demonstration of the company’s commitment to move away from conventional smoking.
Philip Morris Mexico Vice President Catalina Betancourt said the transnational firm’s long-term commitment at both a global level and in Mexico is “to completely replace our production and commercialization of cigarettes with products with less impact on health.”
She called on politicians, the medical community and smokers and non-smokers to “know the alternatives and work together so that building a smoke-free Mexico is possible.”
In a move that was slammed by Mexico’s vaping community (estimated at around 1.2 million users), but lauded by the World Health Organization, Mexico banned the importation of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products by presidential decree in February 2020. The long-term use of these products is “expected to increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer,” a section of the decree noted.