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Kick Butts Day 1999:
Albuquerque Retail Stores Keeping Tobacco Out of Youths' Reach

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 10, 1999.

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.


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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 tobacco products."

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.


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