ALBUQUERQUE, NM | January 24, 2024
The American Lung Association’s 2024 “State of Tobacco Control” report, released today, reveals that New Mexico earned a failing grade for tobacco prevention and control program funding, and found that more work needs to be done to prevent tobacco use and save lives. The 22nd annual report evaluates state and federal policies on actions taken to eliminate tobacco use and recommends proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies to save lives.
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death in New Mexico and across the country and takes the lives of 2.630 New Mexico residents each year. The tobacco industry will do anything to protect their profits at the expense of New Mexico lives, so we must push forward in our efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said JoAnna Strother, Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in New Mexico. “This year, we are working with state policymakers to increase funding for tobacco prevention and quit smoking programs. Despite receiving $135 million from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, New Mexico only funds tobacco control efforts at 23.5% of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Lung Association urges Governor Lujan Grisham and the legislature to increase funding for this critical program and protect the Tobacco Permanent Fund.
New Mexico Grades
The “State of Tobacco Control” report grades states and the District of Columbia in five areas that have been proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives. In the 2024 report, New Mexico received the following grades:
- Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F*
- Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade B
- Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade D
- Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade A
- Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F
*State Funding for Tobacco Prevention Programs grades in “State of Tobacco Control” reflect actions taken by elected officials and do not reflect on the hard work of state tobacco control programs or advocates.
Federal Grades Overview
This year’s report focuses on recent federal actions, including President Biden’s failure to finalize rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, as well as FDA’s overdue review of all applications for e-cigarette products, including flavors that are popular among youth. Because of the delay on the federal rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, it is even more important for states to enact laws to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
The 2024 “State of Tobacco Control” report grades the federal government in five areas:
- Federal Government Regulation of Tobacco Products – Grade C
- Federal Coverage of Quit Smoking Treatments – Grade D
- Level of Federal Tobacco Taxes – Grade F
- Federal Mass Media Campaigns to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use – Grade: A
- Federal Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Incomplete*
*FDA remains grossly overdue in publishing the final Tobacco 21 regulations as required by statute, which is why it earns an “incomplete.”
The Lung Association calls on the White House to urgently finalize rules to end the sales of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in the U.S. to save lives now. Send an email to President Biden at Lung.org/Stop-Menthol to insist these rules be finalized urgently. To learn more about this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” grades and take action, visit Lung.org/sotc.
Get involved and help further the mission of the American Lung Association in New Mexico. The Fight For Air Climb in Albuquerque, NM is coming on April 20, 2024. Learn more at ClimbAlbuquerque.org.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
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