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E-cigarette use among youth has quickly become the new epidemic our nation is facing. The adolescent brain is uniquely sensitive to the addictive nature of nicotine, potentially setting our youth up for a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Further exacerbating the problem is the multitude of enticing e-cigarette flavors, combined with targeted advertising to youth. For these reasons, it is not surprising that 1 in 4 youth report using e-cigarettes in the last month. What is our role as pediatricians, parents, or teachers to help mitigate this epidemic and its potentially devastating consequences?























Resources for Practioners


General E-cigarette Information for Physicians


Handouts on General E-Cigarette Information for Physicians


Clinical Tools for Supporting Youth Tobacco Cessation


Advocacy/Policy Spotlight


Tobacco Preemption HB 97 & SB 95 Sponsors: Rep. Joanne Ferrary, Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson, and Sen. Linda Lopez

  • The tobacco preemption repeal bill in the House (HB 97) passed the House Health and Human Services Committee, but was tabled in the Local Govt., Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee as we needed one vote to pass that committee.

  • The companion bill in the Senate (SB 95) passed the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee but was stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • Leading up to the session, we gained the support of several cities, counties and school districts that passed resolutions in support of repeal. This support and the relationships build as part of those efforts will continue to help us as we push to repeal tobacco preemption and work to pass other priorities on the local level.


Tobacco Tax Increase SB 197 & HB 167 Sponsors: Sen. Linda Lopez, Rep. Tara Lujan, Rep. Joanne Ferrary, Rep. Christine Chandler, Rep. Roger Montoya

  • SB 197 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and a hearing on the bill was held in the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee. We had a strong show of support from our coalition, including new members such as League of Women Voters, NM Center on Law and Poverty, and Retake Our Democracy. No action was taken as it’s customary on tax bills to wait for the final budget figures before acting on them.

  • HB 167 passed the House Health and Human Services Committee, but a hearing was never held on the bill in the House Tax and Revenue Committee as the tobacco taxes would be rolled into HB 291, the House Tax Omnibus Bill.

  • Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) introduced an amendment to HB 291 to raise cigarette taxes by $1.50 with an equivalent rate on e-cigarettes. However, that amendment was neither adopted in the Senate Tax nor the Senate Finance Committees because most legislators felt this was not the right time to raise any taxes due to the recent influx of federal stimulus money. Along with tobacco taxes, legislators also rejected other tax proposals that were under consideration such as corporate income taxes, personal income taxes on high-end earners, and capital gains taxes.


Making State-Licensed Racinos Smoke-free HB 249 Sponsor: Rep. Willie Madrid

  • The House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved HB 249 by a 10-0 vote with one member excused. However, the bill was never heard in the House State Govt., Elections and Indian Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Albuquerque). We did receive support from the Governor’s Office on this bill and they sent the policy director for New Mexico Department of Health to stand in support of this bill during the hearing.


Tobacco Flavor Restrictions HB 205 Sponsors: Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson and Rep. Joanne Ferrary

  • HB 205, which would have restricted the sale of flavored tobacco products, passed the House Health and Human Services Committee, but was tabled in the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Antonio Maestas (D-Albuquerque). This bill was a priority of the coalition but was a long shot for this session.


Download this graphic: It’s not like you can buy a new brain (pdf)

Resources for Parents & Youth


General e-Cigarette Information for Patients/Parents


Handouts on E-cigarettes for Parents


Tobacco Cessation Resources for Parents/Youth

  • Become a Smokefree Teen (National Institutes of Health; tools and tips for youth; also available in Spanish)

  • This is Quitting (Truth Initiative; text message-based cessation support service for teens)

  • The Ex Program (Truth Initiative; tobacco cessation program for organizations)

Documentary and Education/Prevention Campaign

  • NM VAPE (Christopher Productions; a New Mexico-based campaign to help youth and parents address the dangers of e-cigarettes; includes a documentary as well as other tools created by youth for youth)

Video clip: "Flavor Dangers" (a segment from VAPE, a documentary by Emmy-award winning Christopher Productions. Go to https://nmvape.info/ for more information on this and other videos and the education/prevention campaign.)