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Beaches, Resorts, And Public Spaces In Los Cabos Will Be Smoke Free

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A federal law regarding where smoking will be allowed within Mexico came into effect this Sunday. The law forbids people from smoking in any public area, and in the case of Los Cabos, this is set to include beaches, resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs. Also, the promotion of tobacco-related products is now completely banned nationwide. This new law is considered one of the most restrictive in the world as far as tobacco prohibition laws are concerned.  

Crowded los cabos beach on a sunny day

Multiple organizations that represent Cabo restaurants and entertainment facilities have spoken out against the law. They argue that one of the reasons why Los Cabos has grown in popularity over the years is because the region is generally “non-restrictive”. They have vowed to fight to overturn this law. For now, though, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to smoke in Los Cabos.

Senor Frogs in cabo with people enjoying the bar, los cabos

Where Can You Smoke In Los Cabos?

With the new ban on smoking in public spaces, the spots in which smoking is allowed have been reduced drastically. At this point, it’s essentially only legal to smoke on private property. For tourists heading to Los Cabos who want to smoke in the region, the best bet may be to rent an Airbnb that allows smoking within the home. If not, Cabo vacations will essentially need to be smoke-free from now on. 

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El Medano beach with people enjoying the sun and sand
Image: Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort

The new law stipulates that people are not able to smoke in public parks, and that ban extends to beaches. Even open areas within resorts or restaurants are not allowed to be used as designated smoking areas. Technically smoking is still allowed on Cabo streets. There’s a clause in the law, though, that stipulates people can’t smoke near children or teens. Even if smoking is still technically legal in streets that don’t feature public parks, this technicality could see smokers be detained by police. 

San Jose del Cabo City Center With tourists and Locals All Around.

Punishments For People Caught Smoking In Cabo

Tourists or locals who are caught smoking in Los Cabos in an area that’s been designated smoke-free could be facing hefty fines and even jail time. The fines for this type of offense start at 60 dollars and can go up to 220 dollars. Smokers can also see jail time for their crimes ranging from 13 to 24 hours behind bars. Six to 12 hours of community service can also be imposed on offenders. The type of punishment that smokers are set to receive will be determined essentially by the way that local police classify the offense. Repeat offenders are more likely to see the higher end of the punishment scale. 

Mexican police looking back at two men sitting on the beach

What Type of “Smoking” Is Banned In Los Cabos?   

This new law essentially makes all forms of smoking banned in public spaces throughout Los Cabos. Marijuana use was “decriminalized” in Mexico a few years ago. However, no legal framework has been established since that date. This makes it fall into a bit of a legal loophole in the country. In many resorts and other venues, police would sometimes look the other way to avoid dealing with the issue. This new law, though, can certainly bring more problems to the forefront. 

People eating at restaurant in cabo

As far as vapes go, those have been banned in Mexico since last year. The thing with vapes, though, is that the law passed in 2022 criminalized the sale of these products but not their use. All this did was open up a black market for their distribution. Now using vapes in public areas is going to put smokers at risk of being fined.

A long stretch of sand on Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas with hotels in the background.

As we’ve mentioned, multiple organizations are trying to get the federal government to dial back some of their newly established policies. However, as things currently stand, anything short of a smoke-free vacation can put Cabo visitors at risk of being detained or fined.

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