NEW MEXICO

 

TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION 101: NEW MEXICO

January 16, 2020

Key Points: 

  • New Mexico’s vaping industry provided more than $114 million in economic activity in 2018 while generating 625 direct vaping-related jobs. Sales of disposables and prefilled cartridges in New Mexico exceeded $1.4 million in 2016.

  • As of January 16, 2020, NMDH has reported 22 cases of vaping-related lung illnesses. Of the patients with information on substances vaped, 77 percent report using a THC-containing vapor product. NMDH earns a C for its reporting on vaping-related lung illnesses.

  • In 2017, only 2.7 percent of New Mexico high school students reported daily e-cigarette use. More data is needed.   

  • Only 3 percent of FDA retail compliance checks in New Mexico resulted in sales of e-cigarettes to minors from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

  • New Mexico spends very little on tobacco prevention. In 2019, New Mexico dedicated $5.7 million on tobacco control, or 4 percent of what the state received in tobacco settlement payments and taxes.

REGRESSIVE TAX IN NEW MEXICO WILL PUNISH LOW INCOME TOBACCO USERS AND THREATENS HARM REDUCTION

February 15, 2019
  • Recently introduced legislation would increase the state’s cigarette and other tobacco products (OTP) taxes and apply the OTP tax to vapor products.

  • The proposal aims to increase the excise tax on cigarettes from $1.66 for a pack of 20 cigarettes, to $3.16 per pack.

  • The OTP tax would increase to 76 percent of the product value, from its current rate of 25 percent.

  • Cigarette taxes are highly regressive and disproportionately impact lower-income persons.

    • A Cato Journal article found that from “2010 to 2011, smokers earning less than $30,000 per year spent 14.2 percent of their household income cigarettes.”

    • Smokers that earned between $30,000 and $59,999 spent 4.3 percent, and those earning more than $60,000 spent 2 percent of their income on cigarettes.

  • Increased taxes on cigarettes lead to black markets. According to the Tax Foundation, New Mexico ranked fourth in the country for cigarette smuggling in 2015.

  • Another troubling aspect of the bill is the application of an extreme excise tax on e-cigarettes, a tobacco harm reduction product.

  • E-cigarettes provide smokers nicotine in a vapor that is significantly less harmful, as found by numerous public health organizations including Public Health England, the Royal College of Physicians, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the American Cancer Society.

  • Although most states raise tobacco taxes in an effort to deter people from smoking, this proposal in New Mexico will not allocate any funding for cessation efforts.

  • In 2018, New Mexico received $131.8 million “in tobacco settlement payments and taxes.” The state only allocated $5.7 million on tobacco education and prevention in the same year.

  • The state uses tobacco settlement funding for other legislative items.

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©2020 by Tobacco Harm Reduction 101.