Objectives: We assessed attitudes and beliefs about smoke-free laws, compliance, and secondhand smoke exposure before and after implementation of a comprehensive smoke-free law in Mexico City.
Methods: Trends and odds of change in attitudes and beliefs were analyzed across 3 representative surveys of Mexico City inhabitants: before implementation of the policy (n=800), 4 months after implementation (n=961), and 8 months after implementation (n=761).
Results: Results indicated high and increasing support for 100% smoke-free policies, although support did not increase for smoke-free bars. Agreement that such policies improved health and reinforced rights was high before policy implementation and increased thereafter. Social unacceptability of smoking increased substantially, although 25% of nonsmokers and 50% of smokers agreed with smokers' rights to smoke in public places at the final survey wave. Secondhand smoke exposure declined generally as well as in venues covered by the law, although compliance was incomplete, especially in bars.
Conclusions: Comprehensive smoke-free legislation in Mexico City has been relatively successful, with changes in perceptions and behavior consistent with those revealed by studies conducted in high-income countries. Normative changes may prime populations for additional tobacco control interventions.