ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An amendment filed Tuesday to House Bill 6 will severely undercut efforts to combat Big Tobacco in New Mexico, where more than 28 percent of all cancer deaths can be attributed to its products.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network strongly urges the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee to reject the proposed amendment, which would implement meager tax increases on e-cigarettes while capping cigar taxes at 50 cents per item.
“It’s frustrating and disheartening to see New Mexico dangerously close to gifting Big Tobacco the bills it has on its wish list: tax increases so low they do nothing to curb tobacco addiction or use,” said ACS CAN New Mexico Government Relations Director Sandra Adondakis. “To introduce what would be the state’s very first tax on e-cigarettes at such a low rate – 5 cents per milliliter of liquid nicotine – would do nothing to slow our alarmingly high youth e-cigarette use rate.”
One in four New Mexican high school students reports using e-cigarettes, and there are 40,000 children alive today in New Mexico who will prematurely die from smoking-related disease without intervention. Decades of strong evidence confirm that significantly raising the price of tobacco products will decrease youth tobacco use while helping those battling tobacco addictions to quit.
“Tobacco tax increases only make sense when they save lives, and it is clear the intention behind the proposed amendment is not to lessen tobacco use,” Adondakis said. “The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in New Mexico hopes the committee will do what’s right and reject what we know doesn’t work and instead demand meaningful tax increases to save lives.”