Support HB167 & SB197

Download this fact sheet (Feb. 2021; 2 pages; pdf)

Increasing the price of tobacco products by raising taxes is an evidence-based approach for helping people quit smoking and supporting a healthier future for them and the state.

Cigarettes and other tobacco products harm our communities – and that harm isn’t equitable.

  • Tobacco products disproportionately harm youth and communities of color.
    • Tobacco industry marketing has heavily targeted young people, particularly in low-income communities.[1]
    • Almost 10% of New Mexico high schoolers smoke (compared to almost 5% nationally). At current smoking rates, 40,000 New Mexico youth will face premature deaths due to smoking.[2]
    • Tobacco use is highest among Native American, Black, and LGBTQ members of our communities[3] – groups that already face disproportionately poor health outcomes.
    • Smoking-related deaths among Native Americans are 2.2 times higher than for whites.[4]
  • Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides Approximately 2,600 adults die in New Mexico each year from smoking.[5]

Cigarettes and other tobacco products cost our state.

  • Smoking-related health-care expenses cost the state significant amounts of money every year:[6]
    • Tobacco-related health care expenditures: $844 million
    • Medicaid expenditures due to tobacco use: $222.8 million
  • New Mexico households pay $864 per year in the state and federal tax dollars needed to cover tobacco-related expenditures.

Increasing tobacco taxes motivates people to decrease their tobacco use, supports healthier, more equitable and prosperous communities, and results in cost savings for the state.

  • Decreased tobacco use is associated with improved health outcomes, quality of life, and better family economic security because families spend less on tobacco and related health care expenses.
  • Tobacco taxes also help reduce health disparities along income and racial and ethnic lines because younger people and people earning lower incomes – which are both disproportionately people of color – are the most likely groups to reduce tobacco use in response to higher costs.[7]
  • A 7% decrease in teen smoking rates can be achieved with a 10% increase in the cost of tobacco products,[8] which results in significant annual savings of New Mexico’s public health care funds.[9]
  • Increasing cigarette and tobacco taxes will raise significant revenue for the state to help pay for the crucial health programs that our families and communities need now more than ever.
    • New revenues from the tax increases are expected to total about $90 million annually.[10]

Raising taxes on tobacco products will lead to a healthier New Mexico.


[1] “Preliminary Scientific Evaluation of the Possible Public Health Effects of Menthol Versus Nonmenthol Cigarettes,” FDA, 2013
[2] The Toll of Tobacco in New Mexico, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2020
[3] Burden of Cigarette Use in the U.S., Centers for Disease Control, 2020
[4] “Disparities in Smoking-Related Mortality Among American Indians/Alaska Natives,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2015
[5] The Toll of Tobacco in NM, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2020
[6] Ibid
[7] A Socioecological Approach to Addressing Tobacco-Related Health Disparities, U.S. National Cancer Institute, 2017
[8] US State Tobacco Taxes, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2020
[9] The Toll of Tobacco in NM, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2020
[10] Legislative Finance Committee fiscal impact report for HB 167, 2021