History of Clean Indoor Air Ordinances In New Mexico

Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

History of Clean Indoor Air Ordinance In New Mexico
New Mexico's initial statewide Clean Indoor Air Policy became effective January 1, 1986 and requires that all state, county, and city owned or leased buildings, including public schools, colleges and universities, establish and implement a smoking policy to protect the health of non-smokers who work in or visit these public buildings. The Act requires that sites be designated as totally non-smoking or that a policy be implemented permitting smoking in designated areas only.

In 1988 the New Mexico Health and Environment Department enacted a smoke-free policy, eliminating smoking in its approximately 70 departmental worksites statewide (3,600 employees), including state hospitals, state rehabilitation centers, alcohol treatment centers, field health offices. A second state agency, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, (housed organizationally in the Department of Education) has been smoke-free since April, 1990.

The City of Albuquerque passed their Clean Indoor Air Ordinance on April 19, 1989. This covers all worksites (excepting state agencies covered by the NM Clean Indoor Air Act), retail stores, restaurants, and the Albuquerque International Airport. Restaurants can allow smoking in only up to one-third of the premises. Worksites can allow smoking in only up to one-third of an employee lounge, break room or cafeteria, or can allow smoking in a private enclosed office shared by workers. Smoking is allowed nowhere else inside an Albuquerque worksite. The Albuquerque City Government is smoke-free.

Eleven youth detention facility centers in the state, operated by the New Mexico Youth Authority, became smoke-free in May 1990. This event was a complete turnabout from the situation 18 months prior in which youth were allowed to purchase cigarettes from the facility canteens using tokens which they received for good behavior.

Fifteen of NM 88 school districts are currently smoke-free (including four districts who went smoke-free during the last year). While this represents 17% of all school districts, over 58% of students (173,167 out of a total 296,057 students) and school staff in NM are affected, since all of the larger districts (9,000 to 86,000 students) are among those with smoke-free policies. An additional 41.5% of students (122,890 students) go to schools that have a tobacco free policy for students, but not for staff.

Two Indian pueblos, Zuni and Isleta, have smoking policies in place, as does the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Service (AAIHS), which operates health care hospitals and clinics statewide to serve the 24 Indian tribes in New Mexico. The AAIHS hospitals were the first hospitals to go smoke-free in New Mexico, implementing policies during 1983-1984.

The New Mexico Hospital Association represents 67 member hospitals in New Mexico. In May 1987 the association adopted a resolution to create smoke-free environments in its member hospitals by January 1988.

As of early 1990, 60 of the 67 member hospitals had implemented smoke-free policies, including a ban on the selling of tobacco products on hospital premises. The remaining seven hospitals have restricted smoking policies in place as an initial step prior to becoming smoke-free. In 1988 the State Legislature passed a Senate Memorial commending the New Mexico Hospital Association for its leadership in promoting a healthy environment within the hospitals of New Mexico and for assisting its membership in achieving smoke-free status for the benefit of patients, visitors, employees, medical staff, and volunteers.

Sources: The New Mexico Health and Environment Department's Public Health Division, the American Cancer Society's New Mexico Division, both who are partners in the state's tobacco control program.


InfoImagination © 2000 -- All Rights Reserved