No Minor Sale’s Role in Addressing E-Cigarettes and Keeping Youth Safe
In New Mexico, about 2,800 people die from tobacco use annually and another 84,000 are living with tobacco-related diseases. Annual smoking-related medical costs in New Mexico total $844 million.1 Nationally, combatting cigarette use has been a difficult and long fight for public health advocates. That fight, however, was well rewarded as US cigarette use rates have recently reached historic lows. Unfortunately, this decline in cigarette use has coincided with a massive increase in e-cigarette use, and especially among youth. Youth e-cigarette use has reached epidemic levels across middle and high schools in New Mexico and the US.
Preventing youth access to these tobacco products, which include e-cigarettes, in New Mexico is crucial, given their addictive nature and the burden tobacco causes New Mexican citizens. Luckily, our next generation of Americans are hard at work at continuing to combat the tobacco industry locally by raising awareness about the issue. Former Evolvement member Frankie Gutierrez has done just that and attests, "It's important to have campaigns like No Minor Sale because it's trying to stop illegal tobacco sales to minors and this is a huge issue in New Mexico. Myself, as a minor, have seen tobacco throughout my community and how easy it is for minors to obtain. No Minor Sale is not only helping to keep my community healthy, but it's also protecting all of the youth in New Mexico."
The future is bright with public health advocates such as Frankie Gutierrez and campaigns such as No Minor Sale in reducing the illegal sale of tobacco products to New Mexico youth. Even one sale to a minor is too many. With that, we hope our state’s elected officials will act to stop the illegal sale of tobacco and nicotine products to minors by supporting statewide Tobacco Retail Licensing!
If an organization you are affiliated with is interesting in joining the movement to protect our youth from the harmful effects of tobacco, please contact Michael@NoMinorSale.com.
1 Department of Health (n.d.). Complete Health Indicator Report of Tobacco Use – Adult Smoking Prevalence. Retrieved from https://ibis.health.state.nm.us/indicator/complete_profile/tobaccosmokeadult.html