Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Campaign to Clean the Air in New Mexico

New Mexicans View Secondhand Smoke As Harmful To Health new study

Policy Position of the NM Legislature Regarding Secondhand Smoke
While conducting a routine search for information on the proposed legislation, Senate Bill 351, we found a significant interpretation of the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke within the attached legislative Fiscal Impact Report (FIR) summary. You may verify these findings by following the listed URLs to the legislative Website entries.

Go to the New Mexico Legislature Bill Finder
Enter 351 and then select Senate.
Select Fiscal Impact Report.

Sponsor: Robinson
Date Typed: 02/04/99
Short Title: Smoking Accommodations Act
SB 351
Analyst: Burkhart
Synopsis of Bill
Senate Bill 351 prohibits smoking in designated areas and provides retail businesses with the option of providing designated smoke-free and smoking-permitted areas on the business premises or permitting smoking anywhere on the business premises. The bill establishes a definition for smoking and preempts other state agencies, municipalities and counties from imposing more stringent regulations regarding smoking.

Significant Issues
The issues associated with smoking and the inhalation of secondhand smoke are the subject of an on-going national debate. Data clearly demonstrates the association between illness and the inhalation of secondhand smoke.

Technical Issues
There are no provisions for the enforcement of this proposed legislation
CCAA Commentary
The scientific data supporting the link between illness and the exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke are today overwhelming. Yet there exists a lag in practical application of this scientific evidence throughout the state of New Mexico -- especially in apartment and rental dwelling units. The CCAA opposes passage of SB351 on the grounds that this legislation does not effectively further state or Albuquerque Clean Air Ordinances passed in 1986 or 1989. Yet the FIR conducted by the Legislative Finance Committee clearly enlists the official position of the New Mexico legislature regarding second-hand tobacco smoke.

A study conducted by the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Cancer Society (Dec. 1998) found New Mexicans overwhelming agree (81%) that secondhand tobacco smoke is harmful to health (see CCAA report). With both the official legislative position as well as a strong majority of New Mexicans expressing a consensus on this matter, it is time for pubic and private entities to take the necessary steps to insure that adequate protections from this significant health hazard are enforced.


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