- Local Tobacco Use Reduction
Ordinance Passed in Albuquerque
- On October 5th, the Albuquerque
City Council passed a local ordinance to help reduce the illegal sale of
tobacco products to kids. This ordinance is considered a significant step
in the battle to protect America's youth from tobacco abuse. Speakers pointed
out that tobacco is a "gateway" substance that leads to further
illegal drug abuse and self-destructive behavior. The "easy access"
to tobacco products is considered an invitation to youngsters to try products
or shoplift individual tobacco items.
- Councilwoman Adams had initially been unsupportive of the measure.
She felt parents, not government, should be responsible for controlling
youth access to tobacco. She stated that overwhelming support for the measure
was a compelling factor helping her to reconsider.
- For detailed ordinance information including ordinance literature in
PDF format, click here.
- MASCOT Endorses Ordinance
to Stop Illegal Sales of Tobacco to Kids
- Albuquerque - Multicultural
Advocates for Social Change on Tobacco, Albuquerque's tobacco prevention
coalition, announced their endorsement of Councilman Bregman's proposed
ordinance to stop illegal sales of tobacco products to minors. The ordinance
requires that retailers display tobacco products in such a way that they
are not accessible to the public without clerk assistance.
- In New Mexico it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under
the age of 18. Recent evaluations of retailer compliance with this law
have shown that on average 27% of the time kids in Albuquerque have no
problem purchasing tobacco. Requiring direct interaction with a clerk to
purchase tobacco increases the likelihood that the clerk will ask for identification.
Children will be less likely to attempt to purchase tobacco if they must
request the product from a clerk. Self-service displays also invite shoplifting.
Placing tobacco products behind the counter and requiring direct clerk
assistance reduces theft.
- "Despite what the opposition would have us believe, implementing
this ordinance is simple. It is a responsible way for retailers to assure
the community that tobacco products will not be readily available to our
children." stated Lila Mauro, American Cancer Society. "We know
that 1/3 of teens in Albuquerque are regular smokers. Retailers who sell
tobacco products to kids are part of the problem."
- Simon Lopez, Youth Development, Inc., conducted compliance checks in
Albuquerque. "We must act to stop childhood addiction to tobacco.
Curbing the ability of youth to acquire tobacco products on their own is
a big step in the right direction." Across the country over 188 communities
have passed similar measures including Tucson, Denver and Austin. [fact sheet]