The following letter to the editor was published in the Grand Island Independent on April 19, 2019.
Tobacco Bills: Good News and Bad News
At this point, in the New Mexico legislative session, we have been presented with some good news and bad news.
First, ACS CAN advocates have been speaking up in support of legislation that will significantly reduce the deadly and costly toll of tobacco in New Mexico. Just three weeks into this year’s legislative session, there are bills to raise the cigarette tax by $1.50/pack with an equivalent tax on all other tobacco products, and to include e-cigarettes in the existing statewide law that protects workers from secondhand smoke that have passed their first House committee hearings.
The bad news is that a weak tobacco tax bill that would have no real impact on improving the health of New Mexicans also passed in a Senate Committee.
The U.S. Surgeon General and other top health officials recently called e-cigarette use among youth an “epidemic” that will lead to poor health outcomes in the future. That calls for big steps that will stem the tide and save lives.
We’ve got work to do – and we’re going to need your help!
With your help, we’ll have more good news to share for cancer fighters in New Mexico!