SANTA FE, N.M. – Jan. 8, 2018 – New Mexican health and education advocates will stand alongside legislators Wednesday to show support for raising the tobacco tax – a move that would generate more than $42 million in new annual revenue.
Senate Bill 25, filed by Sen. Howie Morales (D-28), would raise the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack and impose an equivalent tax on other tobacco products including cigars, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
Tobacco use remains the single largest cause of preventable death and disease in our state. An estimated 2,600 New Mexicans die from tobacco-related illnesses each year including cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses. Without strong action to reduce tobacco use, 40,000 New Mexican children alive today will die prematurely from smoking.
Higher tobacco taxes are a win-win-win for states: a health win that reduces smoking and saves lives; a fiscal win as it raises much-needed revenue; and a political win that is popular with the public. A 2015 poll indicated that 81 percent of likely voters support a $1.50-per-pack increase in the state cigarette tax, with the revenue dedicated to increasing funding for health programs and early childhood education.
The coalition is comprised of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the March of Dimes, Health Action New Mexico, National Education Association New Mexico, New Mexico Cancer Center, New Mexico Allied Council on Tobacco, New Mexico Voices for Children, and Keres.
WHO: Sen. Howie Morales, D-28 Rep. Liz Thomson, D-24 Dr. Sharon Phelan, board member for the March of Dimes Dr. Charles Bowyer, executive director of National Education Association-New Mexico Joe Guillen, executive director of the New Mexico School Board Association Jaeann Gonzales, junior at Atrisco Heritage Academy in Albuquerque Frankie Gutierrez, junior at Los Lunas High School
WHERE: The Roundhouse Rotunda 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, 87501
WHEN: Jan. 10, 2018, 11 a.m.