Tobacco Use, a Public Health Problem in Mexico. Public Policy Perspectives

Tobacco use is one of the main preventable causes of disease and death among young people and adults in Mexico.1 Currently, 16 million Mexicans smoke; that is, one in four people over the age of 12. Approximately 26.4 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 65 are smokers; 20.3 percent, ex-smokers, and the rest (53.3 percent) are nonsmokers. According to the Ministry of Health (SSA), every year, between 53,000 and 55,000 people die from tobacco related diseases, and between 23 billion and 29 billion pesos are spent on their health care. The Mexican government, then, needs to implement effective public policies to reduce tobacco-related social and economic costs to society.