On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the American Heart Association, in collaboration with the New Mexico Council on Allied Tobacco, celebrated “Advocacy Day at the Capitol” at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.
The goal of this event was to raise awareness regarding the proposed tobacco legislation (Senate Bill 131 and House Bill 195) that require licensing of all tobacco retailers, including E-cigarette/vape stores; raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21, in compliance with the federal T21 law; and repeal the existing local preemption on tobacco sales.
This tobacco regulatory legislation is being supported by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The Day at the Capitol began with breakfast and panel discussion on e-cigarette/vaping epidemic among youth, especially among New Mexico youth. The panel discussion featured Dr. Leah Nelson, Addiction Medicine Fellow, PGY4, UNMH;
Dr. Dona Upson, MD, Pulmonologist, NM Veterans Affairs Health Care System-Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center; Dr. Robert Taylor, MD , Cardiologist and Board President, American Heart Association in Albuquerque; and David Tompkins , Manager, Community Health Initiatives, New Mexico Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program.
This was followed by advocacy training for nearly 40 advocates. AHA advocates targeted members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and discussed the benefits of SB 131 and HB 195, especially repealing the local preemption of tobacco sales. This was followed by a press conference with HB 195 sponsors Rep. Liz Thomson and Rep. Joanne Ferrary, and Senate Public Affairs Committee Chairman Gerald Ortiz y Pino to focus on tobacco legislations.
Thank you for all of our AHA advocates who made their way to Santa Fe for this event!