Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

This week Governor Richardson made it official (and better).

As expected Governor Richardson signed a bill that will increase the tobacco tax by $.75 per pack. This action will lower smoking rates in New Mexico and will keep thousands of kids from ever starting to smoke. He even made the bill better by removing a provision that would have repealed the tax after 4 years. Now the tax will be permanent making it a long term improvement for public health

Please thank the Governor and members that voted YES!

We ask a lot from our lawmakers and they hear from us on many issues. Let's thank them for stepping up for public health and helping to reduce the number one cause of preventable death -- tobacco.

Thanks for your support.


Lawmakers Talking Tobacco Tax Again

For weeks there was no movement on a proposed cigarette tax increase. But with recent developments it now has life! Please call your State Representative and State Senator and tell them to support a strong tobacco tax increase.

Click here for your lawmaker's phone number and talking points.

(After clicking on the Take Action button you will need to click on the link that says "Download your phone file". Then you will see the talking points and Phone Numbers.)

Having a strong tobacco tax is one of the most effective ways of reducing smoking and preventing youths from picking up the habit. Every state that increases their tobacco tax sees a reduction in smoking and an increase in revenue that can be used fund tobacco prevention programs.

In the New Mexico legislature there were multiple proposals to raise the tobacco tax but they all seemed dead. Until now. Lawmakers are now taking a second look at this issue and we need to make our case.

Please call your lawmakers and tell them to support a strong tobacco tax.

Click on the links above to access talking points. Feel free to put the information in your own words and include personal stories about smoking that you may have. A short call can have a big impact. With only a few days left in the session, please call today!


NM Volunteers Featured in new You’re the Cure Video

New Mexico advocate David Bess is featured in a new You’re the Cure video that highlighted his time in Washington DC last fall. (Dave is the first advocate to speak appearing at the :30 mark).

Dave came to the Hill to lobby for Healthcare reform and shared his story with New Mexico lawmakers. Please view the video and tell us what you think.

How would healthcare reform impact you?


Thank You to Our Volunteers



Santa Fe New Mexican-By Steve Terrell | The New Mexican


Photo by: Luis Sanchez-Saturno/The New MexicanAlthough he's campaigned both for president and governor as a tax-cutting Democrat, Gov. Bill Richardson told reporters Monday that tax increases are "inevitable" during the next legislative session because of the budget crisis. "It's very painful," Richardson said. He said he'll soon be appointing a committee to study the best ways to raise revenue. Richardson declined to say which tax hikes might be approved in the Legislature. "Nobody likes them, but we're going to have to have them," he said. If it's true that tax increases might be seriously considered next year, it would be the first time in at least 15 years that raising taxes has been seriously discussed in New Mexico.

When Richardson took office in 2003, cutting personal income taxes and capital gains taxes were among Richardson's chief priorities. He said these actions would help attract high-paying jobs to the state. And in the eight years prior to Richardson, his predecessor, Gary Johnson, made low taxes and small government his hallmark. In the days leading up to the recent special session, Richardson made it clear he would oppose any move to repeal his tax cuts — as unions, the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops and various other advocacy groups are calling for. During the special session, several liberal Democrats complained that Richardson had "tied our hands" by his proclamation that said lawmakers couldn't consider tax increases. "Where was he during the special session?" was the response of one Democratic lawmaker when told about Richardson's statement that tax increases are inevitable.

Richardson at the news conference acknowledged such criticism. Referring to meetings before the session, Richardson said, "I sat here with legislative leaders, and they all agreed we wouldn't have any tax increases this session. Because if we're gonna have (tax increases), we're going to do it in a methodical, practical, positive way." He said there will be more time to study taxes before the regular 30-day session that begins Jan. 19. Terri Cole, executive director of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, who attended the news conference, thanked the governor for "prohibiting tax increases" during the special session. Richardson will find no lack of sponsors next year for tax increase ideas.

State Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, who during the recent special session introduced measures to raise taxes on alcohol and tobacco as well as the motor vehicle excise tax, said he'll carry similar measures again in 2010. Egolf said he expects public support for the increases, in the face of the state's budget crisis. "These taxes have broad public support as a means to provide the revenue we need to fund our children's education. The taxes on cigarettes will have the added benefit of reducing teen smoking and reducing smoking-related deaths in the future," Egolf said. Increasing the state tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack would generate almost $33 million a year for the general fund, while increasing the cost of alcohol by a dime a drink would bring in about $66 million annually. Raising the motor-vehicle excise tax by 1 percentage point could generate almost $70 million a year.


Heart attack rates drop after smoking bans, continue downward over time

DALLAS, Sept. 21, 2009 — One year after passing smoking bans, communities in North America and Europe had 17 percent fewer heart attacks compared to communities without smoking restrictions, and the number of heart attacks kept decreasing with time, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.


Help Reduce Teen Smoking

As mentioned below the new law that allows the FDA to regulate tobacco is will go a long way towards informing and protecting Americans from the health threat of tobacco products.

Help us encourage state lawmakers to step up tobacco prevention efforts in NM

There are several ways states can make it tougher for cigarette makers to target youth in their ads and marketing. Click on the link above to learn more and take action today!

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