The purpose of the ITC project in Mexico is to monitor the reactions and support for tobacco control policies in an important middle-income North American country that has ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and is yet to implement new policies. Mexico signed the FCTC on August 12, 2003, and ratified the treaty on May 28, 2004.

Country Profile:

Capital City Mexico City
Population (2007 estimate) 108,700,891
Life expectancy at birth (2002 estimate) Men: 72 years, Women: 77 years
Healthy life expectancy (2002 estimate) Men: 63.3 years, Women: 67.6 years
Ethnic groups Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, White 9%, Other 1%
GDP per capita (2004) $10,158
Median age 25.6 years
Literacy 92.2%

Smoking Prevalence and Associated Costs:

  • The main source of tobacco used in Mexico is cigarettes.
  • Urban smoking prevalence surveys have shown a different trend in men and women since 1971. The proportion of male smokers has increased from 44% to 51% in 1998. The proportion of female smokers jumped from 16% to 20% in 1988, and then decreased to 14% in 1990, and then was last reported at 18% in 1998.
  • The mortality rate of lung cancer jumped 220% between 1970 and 1990.
  • Half of Mexican smokers start smoking in their teen years.

Smoking Policies:

  • Partial restriction on tobacco advertising.
  • Warning labels are mandatory.
  • Sales to minors is allowed.
  • Pictorial health warnings introduced in 2009
  • Smoke-free enclosed public workplaces introduced in 2009

ITC Researchers:

Jim F. Thrasher (Principal Investigator)
Eduardo Bianco

Mexico policy table

Mexico Contact Information

Mary McNally, Project Manager. Email:

James Thrasher, Principal Investigator. Email:

ITC Affiliated Institutions:

Sources: World Health Organization, CIA World Factbook, Shafey et al 2003 (


ITC-Mexico Wave 1 Technical Report

Click here for the ITC Mexico survey questionnaires »

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