E-cigarette Legislation Earns N.M. Highest Mark on Smoke-free Policies

August 1, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico made progress this year implementing policies and passing legislation to prevent and reduce suffering and death from cancer. According to the latest edition of How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality, New Mexico measured up to policy recommendations in in four of the eight evaluated issue areas. The report was released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

The 17th edition of the report highlights the state’s inclusion of electronic cigarettes into the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act. The move, which also removed outdated exemptions, earned the state a higher grade for smoke-free laws.

“Twenty-five percent of New Mexican high schoolers use e-cigarettes, so this legislation was sorely needed to take swift action,” said ACS CAN Government Relations Director Sandra Adondakis. “This is a national health crisis, which is why just a few weeks ago the U.S. Congress held hearings on the epidemic. 

“The New Mexico Legislature made the right move to include electronic cigarettes in the smoke-free act, and we hope to keep up this momentum to counter the tobacco industry and continue the fight against cancer,” Adondakis said. “This report provides lawmakers a legislative path forward to improve cancer prevention efforts, curb tobacco use, prioritize the quality of life for patients and their families and increase access to critical health coverage.”

How Do You Measure Up? rates states in eight specific areas of public policy that can help fight cancer: increased access to care through Medicaid, access to palliative care, balanced pain control policies, cigarette tax levels, smoke-free laws, funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, cessation coverage under Medicaid and restricting indoor tanning devices for people under 18. 

A color-coded system classifies how well a state is doing in each issue. Green shows that a state has adopted evidence-based policies and best practices; yellow indicates moderate movement toward the benchmark and red shows where states are falling short.  

How New Mexico Measures Up:
Increased Access to Medicaid                    Green
Access to Palliative Care                        Red        
Pain Policy                            Green
Cigarette Tax Rates                        Green
Smoke-free Laws                                                     Green
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Funding        Red                
Medicaid Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Services            Red
Indoor Tanning                            Red


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