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Tourists Are Ignoring The Los Cabos Smoking Ban, What Are The Consequences?

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It has been a couple of months since the public smoking ban went into place in Los Cabos. However, the enforcement of the law is still lacking among tourists in town for the peak spring travel season.

Busy Cabo Beach with vendors and people everywhere and Land's End in the background.

What is the Smoking Ban?

It was illegal for tourists to smoke in public in Los Cabos, effective on January 15. This includes popular traveler hotspots such as restaurants, bars, patios, terraces, nightclubs, and even beaches.

However, you would not know it just walking around Los Cabos during this busy travel season. Everywhere you turn around El Médano beach or passing by the many popular local nightclubs and bars, it’s actually hard to avoid someone smoking.

Police Talking To Tourists

Officers with the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zones stop and talk with smoking tourists to gently educate and advise them of the public smoking ban that is in place in Los Cabos. They advise smokers to put out their cigarettes to avoid the penalty.

Those that don’t comply face a potential fine of $9,000 pesos, or approximately $490, for the first occurrence. Repeat offenders can face a fine of up to $100,000 pesos, or nearly $5,500.

Local Officials Expected This

State Commission for the Protection of Sanitary Risks Commissioner José Manuel Larumbe Pineda definitely had a challenge on his hands enforcing a brand new controversial law with the peak spring travel season right around the corner.

Nightclub in Los Cabos

They are not surprised that most tourists are not observing the law. Instead, they are focused on education instead of enforcement for first-time offenders.

Many tourists to Los Cabos simply are unaware that the new law was put in place and is being enforced.

In fact, the police enforcing the law are asked to educate the tourist and then kindly tell them to extinguish their cigarette while ironically sharing some handy travel tips for enjoying their stay in Los Cabos.

Municipal police in Mexico

The $9,000 peso fine for first offenders and $100,000 peso fine for repeat offenders is a last resort for police enforcing the ban in the event that the tourist becomes belligerent against the police.

Why The Ban?

Officially, the public smoking ban is for more than just health reasons. Although, most Los Cabos tourists think that is the only reason the ban has been put into place.

It is also about the overall cleanliness of Los Cabos.

Cigarette butts on beach

Business owners begrudgingly dealt with cigarette butts and waste around the popular tourist areas to keep tourists happy. However, the discarded cigarettes were causing a problem on the beaches of Los Cabos.

Los Cabos beaches are recognized as some of the cleanest in the entire world and have even earned a very special “blue flag” designation for being clean. The discarded cigarette butts on the beaches were risking this important international tourism recognition.

What’s Next For The Law?

Blue flag on beach

Tourism officials and representatives from the State Commission for the Protection of Sanitary Risks fully intend to enforce Los Cabos tourist compliance with the law. There will be no change from that perspective.

As Los Cabos tourists become more accustomed to the law being in force, it is hoped that compliance will happen and become a regular part of the visitor experience in Los Cabos. Officials understand that this part will take time and proactive educational efforts on their part.

According to Commissioner José Manuel Larumbe Pineda, they will also continue to also work with Los Cabos locals to cut the overall consumption of cigarettes in the area.

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