The Multicultural Advocates for
Social Change on Tobacco announced that Albuquerque tobacco retailers are
in compliance with the new ordinance designed to keep tobacco out of the
hands of young people.
In addition representatives from Ernie Pyle and Roosevelt Middle Schools
announced that they would like store owners near their schools to get rid
of tobacco ads and promotional gimmicks.
The results of these assessments were disseminated on April 14, which
is National Kick Butts Day. On April 5th the Albuquerque City Council officially
proclaimed that Albuquerque would observe this event locally.
On December 28, 1998 the Albuquerque ordinance requiring most tobacco
retailers to remove self-service tobacco displays in stores and to assist
in all tobacco transactions went into effect. The Albuquerque Fire Marshal's
office conducted the first inspection of 39 stores between April 1 - April
Inspectors also obtained information by managers and clerks about the
ease and costs associated with the new requirements (full
story). They found that stores spent between $0 - $100 to rearrange
their racks, and the requirements to be virtually no inconvenience.
The number of stores inspected equals approximately 10% of all tobacco
vendors in Albuquerque.
Read About Talking Talons
Kick Butts Day activities
Other states have shown that strictly enforcing youth access provisions,
as part of a comprehensive tobacco prevention program, is effective in reducing
the initiation of tobacco use by young people.
Lieutenant Gilbert Gallegos of the Albuquerque Fire Marshal's office
said that this is only the first phase of inspections, and plans are being
developed to conduct another wave of inspections. "We're taking our
enforcement assignment very seriously to prevent adolescents from using
MASCOT, the Albuquerque tobacco prevention coalition that initiated the
new regulation, is sharing its experiences with this ordinance with other
community coalitions, in the hope that they will encourage more city councils
to pass similar ordinances in their communities. More than 190 cities in
the U.S. have enacted this type of regulation.
The Albuquerque City Council declared April 14, 1999 as Kick Butts Day
in Albuquerque (see proclamation) due to the startling
facts associated with adolescent tobacco use, including:
- Teen smoking is on the rise and smoking among high school seniors is
at a 19-year high.
- The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention predicts that more than 33,000 New Mexico children alive
today will die prematurely from smoking-related diseases unless current
trends are reversed.
- Most adult smokers started smoking cigarettes as teenagers.
- Smoking-related illnesses kill
roughly 420,000 Americans each year, representing more deaths than AIDS,
alcohol, car accidents, murders, suicides, drugs and fires combined.