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Tobacco use in New Mexico

Smoking rates in New Mexico compared to the national averageCigarette use: New Mexico*

  • In 2016, 16.6 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1 percent.¹
  • In 2017, 10.6 percent of high school students smoked on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8 percent.²

Other tobacco product use: New Mexico

  • In 2015, 1.5 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 1.4 percent used smokeless tobacco and 1.9 percent smoked cigars.³
  • In 2017, 24.7 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, 8.2 percent used smokeless tobacco and 10.2 percent smoked cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rates were 13.2 percent, 5.5 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively.²

Chart showing how much each tobacco product is used in New Mexico

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

  • New Mexico received $131.8 million (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.
  • Of this, the state allocated $5.7 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018, just 24.9 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.
  • Smoking-caused health care costs: $844 million per year
  • Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $596.8 million per year

New Mexico tobacco laws

Tobacco taxesNew Mexico cigarette tax

  • New Mexico is ranked 25th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.66 per pack (enacted July 2009), compared to the national average of $1.73. (Connecticut and New York have the highest tax at $4.35 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)⁶ ⁷ ⁸
  • Cigars that look like, are packaged and labeled like or are marketed and advertised like cigarettes are taxed at $1.66 per 20 cigars. Roll-you-own tobacco is taxed at $1.66 per 1.8 ounces of tobacco. Bidis/kreteks are taxed at $1.66 per 20. All other tobacco products are taxed at 25 percent of the product value.⁶ ⁷

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government workplaces, private workplaces (non-public workplaces with two or fewer employees exempt), schools, childcare facilities, restaurants, bars (allowed in cigar bars), retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.⁶ ⁷
  • There are no smoking restrictions for casinos/gaming establishments.⁶ ⁷

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age of sale for tobacco products in New Mexico is 18.
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.⁶ ⁷
  • Sale clerks must restrict access to tobacco products prior to sale.⁶ ⁷

Quitting statistics and benefits

  • The CDC estimates that 58.0 percent of daily adult smokers in New Mexico quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.**
  • New Mexico’s state quit line invests $6.60 per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.10.
  • New Mexico has a private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.

Notes and references

Updated June 2018

* National and state-level prevalence numbers reflect the most recent data available. This may differ across state fact sheets.

** The seven recommended cessation medications are NRT gum, NRT patch, NRT nasal spray, NRT inhaler, NRT lozenge, Varenicline (Chantix) and Bupropion (Zyban). Fiore MC, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service: May 2008.

  1. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016.
  2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2017.
  3. CDC, State-Specific Prevalence of Tobacco Product Use Among Adults - United States, 2014-2015, MMWR.
  4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later FY2018, 2017.
  5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States, 2018.
  6. American Lung Association, SLATI State Reports, 2017.
  7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2018.
  8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings, 2018.
  9. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2016.