15 January, 2022
- By Natalie

How lighting up can make your travel insurance cover go up in smoke

The announcement of Mexico’s harsh new smoking ban will most likely impact travellers and could even void their travel cover.

Travellers headed to Mexico can face up to $500 in fines and even arrest should they choose to smoke in public spaces.

In some of the world’s strictest non-smoking measures, Mexico has banned smoking in outdoor spaces including parks, town squares, beaches, resorts and hotels as of January 15, 2022. As a result, the only legal places to smoke are in one’s private home or in a private outdoor space.

Travellers to Mexico may find their options limited should they choose to smoke. Ostensibly, you may not be able to smoke at all. Take note that these new laws do apply to everyone, and failure to comply could have you fined up to $500, or even imprisoned.

Vaping is still smoking

Tourists should note that electronic or vaping devices are also illegal in Mexico. Travellers found with these items may have them confiscated and may also be fined or detained. 

Being blasé about the rules and thinking you can get away with a vape won’t cut it. It’s just not worth it, be sensible and obey local the laws - even the ones that appear a bit strict by Aussie standards.

Light up and risk your cover

Choose to smoke in spite of the law? Any fines would not be covered under your travel insurance policy, and failing to comply with local laws would most likely invalidate your travel insurance.

It’s a serious offence to break the law in any country. If you don’t comply with local laws and are arrested due to your own recklessness, you may be invalidating your travel cover and you’ll be on your own in terms of help.

It’s important for travellers to be aware of the rules and regulations of any places they visit and to conduct themselves accordingly. Travellers should also be aware that laws can change quickly and without warning and therefore should always check for the most recent update before planning their trip. Pleading ignorance is not covered under your policy.

Tactful travel tips:

Upon DFAT’s advice, it’s essential to ‘obey local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards.’ Here’s a few tips to keep you safe abroad.

1. Research your destination: Take note of any updated travel advisories through the Australian government’s travel website Smartraveller. These advisories give detailed information about each country’s safety levels, scams to avoid, political instabilities and updated local laws.

2. Learn local laws and customs: A general disrespect or misunderstanding for local laws and culture can land you in trouble overseas- particularly in very conservative regions. Alcohol may also be prohibited in certain instances so do your research before you go.  

3. Drink in moderation: While a drink or two is all part of the pleasure of travel, understanding local alcohol rules and knowing your limits is crucial in certain parts of the world. Excessive alcohol intake could also invalidate your travel insurance.

4. Stay health safe: Some parts of the world require specific vaccines and medications and it’s recommended you visit your health practitioner before travelling to these regions. Certain medications, such as pseudoephedrine (found in cold and flu tablets) are illegal in some parts of the world so speak to a health provider if you are in any doubt.

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Having travelled to over 40 countries, studied tourism management and worked as a flight attendant for over three years, Natalie knows more than a thing or two about travel! She’s an adventure-lover, whose favourite trips have been trekking Machu Picchu and volunteering in an animal shelter in the Amazon. Qualified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and specialising in travel insurance for the last five years, she in passionate about helping travellers get the most out of their holiday.

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