Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States. Even God couldn’t protect this country from the anti-smoking pathology that now seeps south of the Rio Grande.
Mexico may be one of the most affluent Latin American countries but any country that exports its own, poor citizens to another country can hardly be said to be successful. Like politicians north of the border the Mexican governing class is producing a smoke-screen to fool people that it is working for them. A new law was approved that will prohibit smoking on private property unless the owners erect expensive, cordoned off, separately ventilated sections. Mexico City, the capital and largest city, expanded its ban to everywhere, no exceptions. Fines are astronomical, up to $40,000 (US) with closure as a final solution.

In a country so ill-run that millions have fled in the past decade, legislation such as smoking bans is a cruel joke. Crueler still, and indicative that for the elite laws do not apply, the legislators have exempted themselves from the law — "[S]everal lawmakers have filed appeals allowing them temporary restraining orders so they can smoke on the floor of Mexico’s Congress" — that they cruelly impose on the "little people." Cruelest of all the smoking ban law also bans the sale of individual cigarettes, a mainstay of the poverty-stricken street vendors who hawk smokes to a population that cannot afford to buy an entire pack. Will smoking or single-cigarette sales no longer occur in Mexico? Absolutely not. What will occur is a brand new opportunity for the police and petty bureaucrats to demand bribes from citizens whose only crime is trying to make an honest living.



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