Comprehensive law created cleaner indoor air for New Mexicans
SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) recognizes the 10-year anniversary of New Mexico’s Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act this week. The comprehensive law, enacted in June 2007, made most public places and workplaces in New Mexico smoke free.
Under Governor Susana Martinez, New Mexico has taken a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to promote healthy lifestyles that are free from tobacco abuse and free from addiction.
“The facts are clear. Smoking and secondhand smoke have serious health impacts for New Mexicans, including disease and death,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “That’s why we have made it a major priority to help more New Mexicans quit smoking and to reduce secondhand smoke.”
In the decade since the landmark legislation, tobacco use in New Mexico has decreased substantially. Since 2007:
- Cigarette smoking among New Mexico adults has declined to a historic low of 17.5% in 2015.
- Cigarette smoking among adolescents also declined to nearly one in ten, the lowest rate ever measured in the state.
- New Mexicans are consuming about 14 million fewer packs of cigarettes annually.
- And one-third fewer teens are being exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
Under the Governor Martinez administration, NMDOH has offered comprehensive smoking cessation services to all New Mexico residents who want to quit using tobacco at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) and 1-855-DEJELO YA (1-855-335-3569). These services are free to program participants and include one-on-one personalized advice, including a personal quit plan and support tools. Web-based services are available at www.QuitNowNM.com and www.DejeloYaNM.com. Smoking Cessation Services helps over 8,000 New Mexicans quit smoking each year.
Additionally, NMDOH has launched important initiatives to encourage New Mexicans to continue the trend of not smoking in homes and cars, with the “Are You Doing Enough NM” campaign, as well as expanding the discussion of providing healthy indoor air to property owners of multi-unit housing across the state through its “Smoke-Free at Home NM” initiative.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US. Smoking increases the risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Smoking costs New Mexico $844 million each year in direct health care costs, kills 2,630 New Mexicans annually, and 78,000 people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking. Tobacco-free workplaces and public places protect workers from secondhand smoke and support workers and patrons who are trying to quit tobacco.
The Department of Health’s TUPAC program also provides smoking cessation programs. Visit https://nmhealth.org/about/phd/cdb/tupac/ for details.