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Smoking trends in Mexico, 2002–2016: before and after the ratification of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
  1. Luis Zavala-Arciniega1,
  2. Luz Myriam Reynales-Shigematsu1,2,
  3. David T Levy3,
  4. Yan Kwan Lau4,
  5. Rafael Meza4,
  6. Daniela Sarahí Gutiérrez-Torres1,
  7. Edna Arillo-Santillán1,
  8. Nancy L Fleischer4,
  9. James Thrasher5
  1. 1 Departamento de Investigación sobre Tabaco, Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Mexico
  2. 2 Tobacco Research Department, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Mexico
  3. 3 Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  4. 4 Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  5. 5 Health Promotion, Education, & Behavior, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Luz Myriam Reynales-Shigematsu, Tobacco Research Department, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca 62100, Mexico; cisp11{at}


Introduction Mexico was the first Latin American country to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004, after which it implemented some key FCTC policies (e.g., taxes, smoke-free, pictorial warnings and ad bans). This study assessed trends in the prevalence of current, daily and non-daily smoking in Mexico before and after the implementation of key FCTC policies.

Methods Data were analysed from two comparable, nationally representative surveys (i.e., the National Survey on Addictions 2002, 2011 and 2016, and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2009 and 2015). The pooled sample comprised 100 302 persons aged 15–65 years. Changes in the prevalence of current, daily and non-daily smoking were assessed.

Results From 2002 to 2016, the prevalence of current smoking fell 11% in relative terms (from 21.5% to 19.0%). The decrease was registered between 2002 and 2009, and after that, a slight increase was observed (from 16.5% in 2009 to 19% in 2016). The prevalence of daily smoking decreased by about 50% between 2002 and 2016 (from 13.5% to 7.0%) with most of the decrease occurring by 2009. Conversely, the prevalence of non-daily smoking increased by 35% between 2009 and 2016 (from 8.8% to 11.9%).

Conclusions Full implementation of the FCTC is necessary to further reduce smoking. Specific interventions may be needed to target non-daily smokers, who now comprise more than half of current smokers in Mexico.

  • Low/Middle-income country
  • public policy
  • surveillance and monitoring

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  • Contributors JT, LZ-A and LMR-S conceived the research. LZ-A wrote the draft. YKL, DSG-T and LZ-A conducted the statistical analyses. DTL, RM, NLF, EA-S, JT, LMR-S, DSG-T and YKL provided a critical revision to the manuscript. All the authors approved the final version of this manuscript.

  • Funding Research reported in this study was supported by of the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01 TW010652. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.